Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua set to learn fate as crucial deadline arrives

The Independent
The Independent

Oleksandr Usyk is certain to fight a British opponent next in 2022 - and a key deadline is fast-approaching which may finally determine whether it’s Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua .

A rematch between Joshua and Usyk has been on the cards since immediately after their fight last autumn, which saw the Ukrainian triumph and AJ trigger his rematch clause.

Fury, meanwhile, dispensed with Deontay Wilder , with Dillian Whyte installed as his mandatory challenger.

However, there have been constant suggestions that Joshua would accept an offer to step aside and allow WBC champion Fury and IBF, WBA and WBO titles-holder Usyk to face off in an undisputed heavyweight title fight.

At present, there is no confirmed deal for either option and the current deadline set by the WBC is 6pm GMT on Wednesday, 26 January.

From then, purse bids will be called and any promoter will be able to enter negotiations to host the Fury vs Whyte fight, so if an agreement is to be reached for Joshua to step aside and an alternative match-up to be arranged, the clock is ticking on a handshake.

Indeed, Fury alluded to as much with his “tick f****** tick tock” message to Whyte, Joshua and Usyk on Tuesday.

“I am sick of looking at these bums and sick of listening to their excuses. Tick tick tock the time has run out of the bottle and you are all getting a good hiding, you cowards,” he said of the three fighters who had not yet sorted their own, and thus his, fighting futures.

Another video message saw him label them a “pack of wet lettuces” who each had excuses to not fight him, and who he claimed he would “annihilate” in turn.

The WBC have already extended their deadline for an agreement to be reached once and, currently at least, there is no suggestion another extension will be provided.

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