By Mark Elezaj
This past Sunday, Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury went on his social media to announce that the long-awaited undisputed world championship fight against Anthony Joshua was a done deal and set for Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia.
In a 43 second video be posted on line, Fury said “Got some massive news for you guys, I’ve just got off the phone from Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia. He told me this fight is 100 percent on, Aug. 14, 2021, summertime. All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I cannot wait — repeat, cannot wait — to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time.
“This is gonna be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet Earth. Do not miss it. All eyes on us. Peace out. God bless. See you all in Saudi! Yes!”
The good news is that although the fight between Fury and Joshua has been spoken about for months, it looked like we were all going to get the unification bout. The bad news, there were a few hurdles that needed to be cleared before the two heavyweights could actually step in the ring to face each other.
According to a report from ESPN, Saudi Arabia will pay $155 million in fees to host the fight, with Fury and Joshua both receiving $75 million each guaranteed with the additional $5 million going towards “expenses and undercard.”
The unification bout was expected to take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with Fury’s promoter Bob Arum saying the matchup would likely happen around midnight local time, which means approximately 5 p.m. ET in the United States.
The Major Hurdle…..
Fury was initially set up for a trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder, due to a rematch clause in their contract after their last fight, where Fury dominated Wilder, finishing him by TKO in the seventh round.
Plans for the rematch were abandoned after Fury complained that the matchup was not scheduled during 2020.
A day after Fury mentioned that the unification fight was “100 percent on” for Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia, word spread that an arbitrator ruled on Monday that Fury must face Deontay Wilder in a rematch by Sept. 15, 2021.
Arbitrator Daniel Weinstein, a retired judge who has experience in boxing cases, ruled in favor of Wilder. In his nine page opinion, Weinstein stated that Fury must face Wilder in a rematch by Sept. 15 unless they agree to a date extension.
Top Rank reserves date at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas…
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum stated that he would go along with the arbitrator’s ruling.
“We’re not paying Wilder to step aside,” Arum told ESPN on Monday. “It’s better to get rid of him and go about our business. We can make the Fury-Joshua fight for November or December.”
Arum also mentioned that he has reserved Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the Fury-Wilder trilogy fight, with the date being set for July 24th, 2021.
On Wednesday, Anthony Joshua went on social media to blast Fury for claiming that their fight was a done deal when, in fact, he knew there was an ongoing arbitration that could cancel the planned Aug. 15 fight date.
“Tyson Fury, the world now sees you for the fraud you are,” Joshua wrote on Twitter. “You’ve let boxing down! You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout, not a fight. Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly.”
This led to a quick response from Fury.
“[You’re] more full of sh*t than Eddie, spouting absolute shte!” Fury said. “Your full team knew there was an arbitration going on, it was out of my hands! But I tell you what, if I’m a fraud, let’s fight this weekend. Bare knuckles till one man quits? Let’s put up $20 million each!”
The war of words continued between both champions.
“If there was an arbitration going on, why announce to the world we are fighting,” Joshua wrote.
“The fight was signed. Undisputed. Bare knuckle? You’re a good kid, don’t play with me Luke! I’ll slap your bald head and you’ll do nothing. Waste man.”
Fury responded, “Not going into the details online, You’ll slap me about will you dosser please come and try bum, I’m waiting. Femi aka bottlejob 24/7, 365. Ready. I’ll smoke Wilder first then you will get yours as well.”
While nothing is set in stone, all signs are pointing towards the trilogy with Wilder and Joshua facing another opponent next.
What we do know is that Fury is angry right now. He’s not happy that the judge ruled in Wilder’s favor. He is not happy that Wilder is entitled to a third fight and he is angry that Wilder supposedly asked for $20 million in step aside money to allow the Fury vs. Joshua fight to go on as planned.
Fury went on to call Wilder a “joke” for asking for so much money, and has even referred to Wilder as a “reptile.”
Fury then went on and posted a list of Wilder’s excuses for the loss in their February 2020 rematch…
“No excuses….but: Costume was too heavy. Fury’s gloves were loaded. I had weak legs. My water was spiked. Fury’s gloves had no padding. Had bicep surgery. I was a zombie. Disloyal trainer. Complications in camp. I had an autopsy. I broke my arm. Fight stopped too early. Andre Dirrell’s fault. Ref did a shit job. Snakes in the grass. Dent in my head. Egg weight in glove. Fury was covered in oil. Ricky Hatton pulled glove down. I injured my bicep. I broke my hand. Fury’s fist wasn’t in the glove. Fury took PEDs. Fury did voodoo magic.”
Fury then said, he will “have to crack his skull again.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~