A Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua heavyweight title fight is being discussed for September in the U.K., sources tell ESPN.
The talks began this week between Fury’s promoter, George Warren, and Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, sources said, revisiting a discussion from last fall that failed to deliver the long-anticipated showdown between the U.K.’s two top boxing stars.
Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) scored a 10th-round KO of Derek Chisora in a December trilogy fight and then engaged in talks with Oleksandr Usyk for an undisputed heavyweight championship fight eyed for April 29 at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Those negotiations played out in the media and collapsed in March, leaving Fury, 34, searching for a new opponent. “The Gypsy King” then targeted a July 15 return in the U.K.
Fury said the fight was offered to Andy Ruiz Jr., who asked for $20 million, according to the WBC champion. Another potential opponent, Zhilei Zhang, became unavailable when Joe Joyce triggered the rematch clause following his upset loss to the 40-year-old Zhang via sixth-round TKO in February.
On Thursday, Usyk’s promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, won the rights to Usyk’s heavyweight title defense vs. Daniel Dubois and plans to stage the fight on Aug. 12 in Wrocław, Poland, Krassyuk said. That leaves Fury and Joshua available to fight one another if a deal can be struck this time around.
For weeks, talks have been ongoing for an ambitious two-fight card in Saudi Arabia in December that would feature Fury vs. Usyk and Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder. That heavyweight doubleheader is still being explored, sources said.
But Fury is eager to finalize his first fight of 2023 and instructed his team to push for a fight with Joshua this summer, sources said.
An Aug. 12 rematch between Joshua and Dillian Whyte in the U.K., is also being explored, sources said. Joshua (25-2, 22 KOs) stopped Whyte in Round 7 when they met in 2015.
That bout took place before Joshua captured three heavyweight titles. The two-time heavyweight champion was defeated by Usyk a second time last August. Joshua, 33, rebounded with a unanimous-decision victory over Jeremaine Franklin in April, AJ’s first bout with trainer Derrick James.