Fight Talk: Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury is 'signed,' but can we get excited yet?

By Kal SajadBBC Sport
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury

In this week's Fight Talk we discuss the huge news that Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury has been signed, but - with a venue and date yet to be confirmed - is our excitement a little premature?

Plus we look ahead to cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie's world-title challenge against Krzysztof Glowacki on Saturday, while middleweight Liam Williams predicts a knockout win over WBO champion Demetrius Andrade in April.

Joshua-Fury is 'signed' - but can we get excited yet?

Fury v Joshua. It's on.

We think/hope.

The two best heavyweights on the planet have "put pen to paper" on a two-fight deal, according to Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn.

While location and dates are still to be agreed, the blockbuster super-fight between the two Britons seems to now be in touching distance.

All of the belts, bragging rights for number one and an opportunity to cement their legacy all on the line. Does sport get any better than this?

Just moments after Hearn's announcements, the predictions started rolling in...

Fans on Twitter predict Joshua-Fury, with one saying Fury has the other hand, the other saying AJ will win and a third fan saying it's even

With Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Qatar, China, Dubai, the United States and the UK all vying to host the fight, most fans are pretty clear on where they want to see it it take place...

Fans on Twitter calling for Joshua-Fury to take place in London, with one saying he wants to see it at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

However, at the risk of quashing excitement, not everyone in boxing (perhaps understandably) is getting carried away by Hearn's comments.

Frank Warren, who co-promotes Fury, told TalkSport: "There's a long way to go yet," before adding: "The deal announcement came out of the blue, we're not happy."

In a sport where something as trivial as which boxers' name appears first on the billing can scupper a fight, there are still question marks over whether the undisputed clash will happen.

Some argue that little has changed since Hearn's announcement in June 2020 when we were told that a two-fight deal had been signed.

And on Friday, WBC champion Fury somewhat deflated our hopes by saying while he believes he will face Joshua at some point, it is "nowhere near" happening...

Fans on Twitter questioning whether Joshua-Fury will happen

Granted, a fight of this magnitude is something which can take time to be finalised. But for years we've seen fights we so desperately crave either not happening (think Amir Khan v Kell Brook) or taking place once boxers are arguably past their prime (Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao).

Nevertheless, all we can do is keep everything crossed that a date and venue is announced soon. And from there on, hope both fighters are wrapped in cotton wool so nothing jeopardises this historic event which could transcend boxing.

Rapper by day, world champion by night?

Britain could have a new world champion on Saturday when Lawrence Okolie takes on Poland's Krzysztof Glowacki for the vacant WBO cruiserweight belt at Wembley Arena.

Okolie - who has amassed 15 straight wins with 12 knockouts since turning professional in 2017 - has already had quite the journey.

The Londoner went from being bullied at school for his weight to losing seven stone and representing Great Britain at the Rio Olympics.

He recently released his own song - 'TKO' - which he will walk out to on Saturday, and is so confident of his abilities that he offers a £500 incentive to any of his sparring fighters who can knock him down.

But a world-title win on Saturday is not enough for the 6ft 4ins Londoner; he's dreaming og even bigger things…

'I'm going to punch lumps out of Andrade'

Okolie is not the only Briton who could be crowned a world champion in the coming weeks after it was announced Welshman Liam Williams will face undefeated WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade in Miami on 17 April.

With 23 wins, two losses and one draw, you can be excused for assuming the Welshman is a heavy underdog, especially considering American Andrade has won all 29 of his professional bouts.

But those defeats both came against Liverpool's Liam Smith - who went on to become a world champion - in 2017.

Smith won the first in controversial fashion when Williams' corner pulled him out in the 10th round because of an eye injury, but it was unclear whether the cut occurred because of a clash of heads or following a punch.

The rematch, which Smith won on points, could have gone either way.

Williams' 18 knockout wins are testament to the ferocious power he packs, and he doesn't appear to be overwhelmed by travelling to the Andrade's backyard.

"I'm going to punch lumps out of him," he told SB Nation.

Andrade was quite dismissive of the challenger last month when he tweeted: "Stop asking me about this Liam Williams guy, I got no clue who he is."

Boxing fans are warning the champion not to overlook the challenger, with many predicting a Williams victory…

Fans on Twitter predict Liam Williams will beat Demetrius Andrade, with one fan predicting a late stoppage

Order in the ring

John Bercow and Frank Warren
Former MP and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow (left) has linked up with Frank Warren's Queensbury Promotions

And finally, the award for most unexpected newcomer to the world of boxing this week goes to… former Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.

Bercow, who served as MP for Buckingham for 22 years, has been appointed as a non-executive director for Frank Warren's Queensbury Promotions.

Fans on Twitter had some fun…

Fans on Twitter react to John Bercow joining Queensbury Promotions, with one saying "He in charge of Orderrrrrrring the fights?"Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - BlueFooter - Blue