By: Sean Crose
“We got another bump in the road to try to get over.”
So says Frank Warren, the veteran British promoter who, along with Bob Arum, represents WBC and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Warren, who is seen speaking on a BT Sport Boxing video, is of course referring to the current situation his fighter has found himself in as of yesterday. Although Fury was expecting to face fellow titlist Anthony Joshua in August to decide who the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world is, an American arbiter ruled yesterday that Fury must fight former foil Deontay Wilder by September 15th.
That means Fury-Joshua is possibly, if not likely, off.
“Top Rank and their lawyer who they use was very confident that they would succeed,” Warren says of the negotiations. With Top Rank and their lawyer proven wrong, Warren explains that a deal will be made with Wilder in order to let the Fury-Joshua fight go through or else Fury and Wilder will simply have to meet again. “Simple as that,” Warren says, though he makes it clear the matter is complicated. “I think there’s going to be more to it than that,” Warren says of dealing with team Wilder, “than just a step aside.”
One thing Warren makes clear in the interview is that team Fury would much rather fight Joshua than Wilder at this point. After a somewhat thrilling and controversial first battle, Fury bested Wilder in brutal, one sided fashion the second time around. Many, if not most, feel the result of a third battle between the two men is a foregone conclusion – another handy Fury victory. “We want to put on the biggest fight out there with Tyson Fury, which is with AJ,” says Warren. “We’ve got to work very hard now to try to resolve the situation.”
The truth is that Wilder was contractually promised a third fight with Fury and that fight never came to fruition, at least not yet. Team Fury argued that the deadline for a third fight came and went, while Team Wilder argued that extenuating circumstances had come into play (this was the time of the Covid pandemic, after all). The arbitrator brought in to settle matters clearly saw matters the way team Wilder did. Fury has yet to speak publicly on the matter. In fact, Warren says in the interview he hasn’t spoken to Fury yet himself..
“I haven’t spoken to him about it,” says Warren, “but my guess is he’s really p’d off.”
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