Fury-Joshua heavyweight bout in jeopardy following ruling on Wilder rematch

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder during a boxing match PHOTO/COURTESY

Los Angeles, Tuesday

Tyson Fury’s heavyweight unification fight with Anthony Joshua could be put on hold after an independent arbitrator ruled that the WBC heavyweight champion must face former champion Deontay Wilder in a rematch.

Retired judge Daniel Weinstein upheld a claim lodged by Wilder that Fury must face him in a third fight by September 15 following their February 2020 title battle.

While the arbitrator’s ruling is not a formal court order, it would be deemed enforceable by courts if Wilder and Fury are unable to reach agreement.

Fury’s promoter Frank Warren told the BBC on Tuesday he hoped Wilder would, for a lucrative fee, agree to step aside and allow the bout to go ahead.

“Until we can reach an accommodation with Deontay Wilder’s people, I can’t say that (Fury’s fight with Joshua) will definitely happen,” said Warren.

“But we are working hard to get that over the line. We were talking last night and hopefully we can do that.

“If not then Tyson, if he wishes, will go to the fight with Wilder. They’re the only two options.”

Monday’s ruling comes just a day after Fury announced he had agreed to fight Joshua in Saudi Arabia on August 14 where the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts will be up for grabs.

“Massive announcement FURY VS JOSHUA IS ON AUGUST 14 in The kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The worlds (sic) biggest sporting event all eyes on us,” Fury wrote on Twitter, describing the bout as “100 percent on”.

Weinstein’s ruling on Monday did not grant Wilder any monetary damages and also said an extension to the September 15 deadline was permissible if both the Wilder and Fury camps could reach agreement.

Wilder’s camp had argued their fighter had a contractual right to a third fight with Fury.   - AFP

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