Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury will happen if both win next fights, says Frank Warren

By Coral BarryBBC Sport
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, pictured here, had hoped to fight each other this year
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua had hoped to fight each other this year
Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Date: Saturday, 25 September
Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live; live text coverage on the BBC Sport website & app

Tyson Fury's co-promoter Frank Warren is confident an all-British undisputed heavyweight title fight with Anthony Joshua will happen.

But he added both fighters will "go where the money is" when it comes to deciding where they meet.

Warren is hoping Joshua successfully defends his belts against Oleksandr Usyk in London on Saturday.

"Let's keep our fingers crossed. I'll be cheering like a lunatic for Anthony Joshua, as will Tyson," Warren said.

"We want the fight."

Joshua, 31, is defending his WBA (Super), IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against Ukraine's Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Fury, 33, will then face his third fight with Deontay Wilder next month in Las Vegas - the bout that forced the original plans for a match-up with Joshua to be shelved.

But Warren remains optimistic the two Britons will meet.

"I'm confident it'll happen if Joshua and Tyson win their respective fights, yes, definitely," he told BBC Sport.

"That's going to be the issue, winning their fights. Hopefully nothing will go wrong. These are big guys, big heavyweights - anything can happen."

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said last summer that a two-fight deal with Fury had been agreed, and later cited 14 August as a date for them to meet - but those plans had to be put on hold because of a challenge from American Wilder.

The former WBC champion argued that he was still entitled to a contracted third fight against Fury, whose team believed their rematch clause had expired.

Their third fight, originally scheduled for July 2020, was postponed because of the Covid pandemic - but an arbitrator in the US ruled that Wilder still had the right to the fight.

"We couldn't sign anything until the arbitration was done," Warren said of the talks breaking down over the original plans for a Joshua-Fury fight.

Joshua and his promoter Hearn have blamed Fury's side for the fight being delayed. But Warren now thinks should both men win their respective bouts, an undisputed clash could happen as early as February as part of a two-fight deal.

"Worst-case scenario is only one of the fights will be in the UK," he said, with Saudi Arabia remaining the favourite to host the other Fury-Joshua bout.

"The truth about what will happen is that two fighters will look at the bottom line.

"Wherever the bottom line is, whether it's Saudi Arabia, Wembley or the moon, that's where they'll go. They'll go where the money is. Doesn't matter what anyone else says."

No two British fighters have ever faced each other in an undisputed heavyweight showdown - and fans are desperate to see the two meet at Wembley Stadium.

But Warren said there could be still be one major obstacle when parties meet again for negotiations - television rights.

Hearn has moved Matchroom's boxers to American streaming service DAZN - with Joshua not part of that deal for now. However, the fighter is coming to the end of his contract with Sky Sports, with Usyk his final opponent under that deal.

Warren said: "The obstacle that will be left is: What is AJ going to do after the fight? Is he going to stay with Sky or is he going to go with DAZN?

"If he stays with Sky, the fact that Tyson has commitments to BT, I don't think they'll be a problem with a joint promotion. If he goes with DAZN, a streaming service at the moment, who knows what will happen or what complications there might be?

"It's not quite as straightforward, but that's something that would have to be sorted out very, very quickly.

"We need to get all these things nailed down, everyone keep their mouths shut, get the deal done and then announce it."

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds