Boxing promoter Lou DiBella says a fight with Tyson Fury feels like a “cash-out” option for Anthony Joshua.
Joshua failed to regain the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles in August when he suffered a second straight loss to Oleksandr Usyk, the man who dethroned him last year.
As a result, an all-British heavyweight clash with Fury seemed off the cards for good, until Fury offered ‘AJ’ a shot at the WBC belt. A fight between the two is being discussed, with a potential December date in the works.
“Joshua didn’t put up a bad fight against Usyk,” DiBella told Seconds Out. “He fought better than he fought [the first time], he has just lost against a better boxer. If he was to win the fight and fight Fury, is it so outrageous that he lost the fight and fought Fury? No.
“But after that fight, two straight losses, rushing to end the year, to fight Fury on Fury’s schedule when you haven’t had the easiest stretch and haven’t won a fight since a moment… it almost feels like a cash out to me. Like, you know, “Hey, this might be my last chance to make this fight.”
“I’m sure there will be a lot of money in this fight in the UK. I’m sure this is a fight that will transcend boxing in the UK. So I take it as a business proposition.
“I guess there’s nothing of the enormity of Fury and Joshua in the UK, and maybe everyone involved just wants to grab the cash when there’s still a chance, don’t is this not? There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the fight I most want to see.
The undefeated Fury last fought in April, knocking out compatriot Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in London to retain the WBC heavyweight title.
Fury, 34, then spent most of the next four months pretending to be retired, before committing to defending the WBC belt again.
A matchup with Usyk, who is also undefeated, seemed like the obvious next fight for Fury, with the winner set to be crowned the undisputed heavyweight champion.
But Fury instead turned his attention to Joshua, 32, who he signed a two-fight deal with in 2021 before Deontay Wilder threatened legal action and was awarded a trilogy fight with Fury.
Fury, who fought Wilder in a controversial draw in 2018, stopped the American in his 2020 rematch and did the same in his third encounter last October.