Anthony Joshua has called Tyson Fury a “fraud” in response to arbitration that mandates the WBC and The Ring heavyweight champion must face Deontay Wilder for a third time before Sept. 15.
The ruling, issued by former federal judge Daniel Weinstein, came a day after Fury announced on Twitter that his all-British heavyweight unification bout with Joshua was “100 percent done” for Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia. That fight, which would have granted the division its first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, is now in danger of being delayed if Fury can’t get Wilder to agree to reschedule.
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) called Fury out on Twitter, saying he used his name for clout. He added that he wants to face a fighter “who can handle their business correctly.”
.@Tyson_Fury the world now sees you for the fraud you are.
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.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) May 19, 2021
Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is the most significant obstacle between a Joshua-Fury unification match. The former WBC champion initiated the injunction on his and Fury’s two-fight contract after they couldn’t schedule a trilogy fight following their Feb. 22, 2020, rematch. Wilder immediately enacted his rematch clause after Fury notched the seventh-round TKO victory, but they couldn’t work out details amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weinstein denied Wilder monetary damages in his ruling, and allowed for the two to agree to an extension. That keeps alive the possibility for a Joshua-Fury bout in August (the British boxers agreed to a two-fight deal in March, which has not been signed). Fury in a Tuesday Instagram story claimed that Wilder was asking for $20 million to let him and Joshua fight.
“What a joke bronzebomber has become. Asked for 20 million to move over #joker. Looks like I have to crack his skull again!” Fury wrote.
That said, Fury’s American promoter Bob Arum said they will abide by Weinstein’s arbitration, and would be willing to delay Joshua-Fury until November or December.
“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.”
Another potential hang-up slowing down Joshua-Fury is a reported request from the WBO to promoter Eddie Hearn explaining why the organization shouldn’t order a fight between Joshua and Alexander Usyk, the top contender for Joshua’s title.