Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: A British fight for the ages but when will it happen?

Boxing is getting ready for one of the biggest heavyweight fights of all-time between two Brits who currently hold every world title in the division.

With Anthony Joshua's recent win over Kubrat Pulev, the stage looks set for a huge domestic unification fight between the former and Tyson Fury at some point in 2021.

The proposed all-British clash between the two titans is regarded as the biggest heavyweight event boxing has witnessed since Thrilla in Manila between Muhammad Ali and Smokin' Joe Fraizer more than 50 years ago.

The difference between Ali-Frazier and Joshua-Fury is that the latter will have four major world title belts on the line as well as the Ring Magazine title and lineal status. As long as the WBO grants permission for the unification with Oleksandr Usyk their mandatory for Joshua's version of the world strap.

Fury's reputation has gone from strength-to-strength since his most recent victory over American foe Deontay Wilder - a fighter deemed as the biggest hitting heavyweight since Mike Tyson.

The "Gypsy King" ruthlessly dispatched Wilder in seven rounds to win the WBC title. In doing so, he is just the second fighter after Riddick Bowe to have held the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles in his professional career.

Joshua, meanwhile, has been forced to rebuild his career following a devastating upset defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden.

Firstly, he avenged a sole defeat by outpointing Ruiz in the desert before viscously knocking out IBF mandate Pulev in the ninth round in December 2020 - his first fight in the UK in over two years.

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The WBC title is the only belt to have eluded AJ since he turned professional after winning gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The road to undisputed continues for Joshua...

Fury's response to Joshua vs Pulev

Following Joshua's knockout, Fury took to social media to react at Joshua's reluctance of mentioning his name in the post-interview.

"Well there you go everyone, Anthony Joshua just s*** himself live on television. He got asked did he want the fight, and he went around the bushes and put his arse in the hedge," Fury said on Instagram.

"I want the fight! I want the fight next! I'll knock him out inside three rounds. He's a big bum dosser, and I can't wait to knock him out.

"I watched the fight, I was very impressed with what he did," Fury told Good Morning Britain. "Then it came to the end of the fight where they did the interview. The public wanted to hear that he wanted to fight me and he avoided the question, which was a bit disappointing. It's been such a long time building up to it over the years, and he avoided the question like he didn't want the fight."

Could Usyk come in to disrupt the party?

Former unified cruiserweight world champion Oleksandr Usyk has now stepped up to the heavyweight division with one thing on his mind - to follow Evander Holyfield and David Haye by becoming a two-division world champion at cruiserweight and heavyweight.

Usyk recorded a points victory over Derek Chisora in his most recent outing and just the second fight since moving up to the heavyweight division. It was rounds in the bank for Usyk against a seasoned operator although it would have hardly left Joshua shaking in his boots at ringside.

Usyk became a new contender by stepping up from cruiserweight
Usyk became a new contender by stepping up from cruiserweight

Usyk's talent and skills are unquestionable, but many experts think his size will prevent him from troubling the major players in the division.

An alternative step for the Ukrainian could be either Joseph Parker or Wilder although Usyk may even accept a substantial financial offer, step aside and wait for the winner of Joshua vs Fury.

Fury vs Joshua: When and where will it happen?

Frank Warren, Tyson Fury's promoter, is now in negotiations with Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, to get the deal finalised. Warren believes the only thing that can prevent the fight now is 'egos'.

Speaking recently, Warren said: "If it does happen, it will be a two-fight package and could generate between £300-500million, depending on where and when it takes place. All the parties have to park their egos up.

"I'm quite sure it will happen. The fighters want it to happen, and it's our job - being the promoters and managers - to make sure it does happen.

"I'd love it to be in the UK, but at the moment there's no chance of that happening, until probably next June because of the Covid restrictions.

"Other than that, it'd be taking it abroad somewhere, where they'd put up a huge site fee."

Negotiations are certainly not finished, although they do seem to be gathering pace. Most fans want both bouts to take place in the UK although it remains unlikely with current Covid restrictions.

The likes of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden in New York have emerged as potential hosts for the mega-event although a specialised Saudi Arabian venue remains in pole position.

In terms of when the bout will take place, it's currently looking like next year. Hearn recently said May was on the cards, although Usyk's title shot against Joshua is proving to be an 'issue'.

Therefore, if Joshua overcomes Usyk in early 2021, then the super fight between Fury and Joshua could take place in late 2021.

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