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Fury claims he's moved on from Joshua offer and plans to face Charr instead
However, promoter Warren says he's trying to salvage fight
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Lineal and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury claimed on Monday that he will no longer pursue a fight with former two-time unified titlist and British countryman Anthony Joshua after he allowed the Fury-imposed deadline to sign the contract to pass.
Instead, Fury is lining up a much lower profile defense against Mahmoud Charr on Dec. 3, the date that was penciled in for the potential Fury-Joshua fight.
“Well, guys, it’s official. D-Day has come and gone,” Fury said in a video he posted to Instagram on Monday. “It’s gone past 5 o’clock Monday (England time). No contract has been signed. It’s officially over for Joshua. He is now out in the cold, with the wolfpack. Forget about it. Idiot! Coward! Shithouse! Bodybuilder! Always knew it. Always knew he didn’t have the minerals to fight ‘The Gypsy King.’
“Regardless of what the fuck you’re saying now, I don’t really care. Good luck with your career and your life. End of (story). Peace out.”
Since knocking out Dillian Whyte in the sixth round on April 23, Fury has vacillated between retirement announcements and fighting on for months and then two weeks ago he said he wanted to fight Joshua, and he and his promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, accepted Fury’s offer of the short end of a 60-40 split. They also agreed for the fight to take place on Fury’s preferred date of Dec. 3 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Joshua was planning to return Dec. 17.
Fury co-promoter Frank Warren then sent a contract to them and Fury has complained via social media almost daily — sometimes multiple times per day — about it not yet being signed. Then he imposed the arbitrary Monday deadline.
While it’s one thing for Joshua to accept the financial split, site and date, there remain the complicated broadcast issues because Fury fights exclusively on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and ESPN in the United States and Joshua is now under exclusive contract to DAZN in both countries following his rematch loss to Oleksandr Usyk on Aug. 20. Fury has never addressed the broadcast situation in his public comments.
Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs), 34, would have preferred to next face three-belt titleholder Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), 35, a Ukrainian southpaw and former undisputed cruiserweight champion, for the undisputed championship, and Usyk also said after outpointing Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs), 32, for the second time in a row last month that he wanted to fight Fury next. But Usyk also said he is taking some time off to tend to injuries and would not be available to face him until next year.
Despite Fury’s claim that the offer for the Joshua fight is off the table, Warren told British sports radio station talkSport that he remains hopeful of wrapping up a deal.
“We’re working very hard to get it over the line,” Warren said. “Tyson has told me what he wants. They’ve had the contract for 10 days and he’s lost patience with it. We’re trying to make it work and we had a good meeting (Monday) so we’ll see what happens.
“We’re waiting for (the contract) to come back. It’s not come back, the contract, and we’re waiting for it to come back. We’ve agreed (to) certain things. We’re waiting for it to come back and we’ve been waiting for 10 days, so I’ve got no idea. There’s nothing as far as we’re concerned. We thought we’d got it over the line, more or less.
“They’ve got the contract; they’ve got to come back to us now. There’s been a lot of conversations, but they’ve not come back. My son, George, spoke to the other side and said they’d get it back, so we’re waiting for it still. We’re not that far away from Dec. 3. We’ve got to get it up on sale. The venue’s booked but there’s a lot of organization involved.”
If Warren and Hearn do not finalize Fury-Joshua, Charr is on board. He made his own social media video saying he wants the fight and a Charr team source told Fight Freaks Unite that he is traveling to London on Tuesday in an effort to finalize his deal.
After Fury’s video claiming the offer from Joshua had been pulled, he posted photos of himself and Charr on Instagram and wrote, “Looking forward to fighting a man who wants to fight & has fire & desire. Fought some of the best fighters & now stepping up again! Get in there Charr.”
Charr (33-4, 19 KOs), 37, a Lebanon native based in Germany, challenged then-WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in 2012 but got knocked down and stopped in the fourth round due to a severe cut in what turned out to be Klitschko’s final bout.
Charr would go on to claim the vacant WBA “regular” belt by unanimous decision against Alexander Ustinov in 2017 but he never defended it and was eventually stripped. He is in litigation with the WBA and promoter Don King over not getting fights he had agreed to that were canceled. He claims King failed to arrange for his work visa for fights that were due to take place in the United States.
Charr has won five fights in a row since a fifth-round knockout loss in 2015 to Mairis Breidis, who later dropped down in weight and won a cruiserweight title. After a 3½ -year layoff due to the contract issues, Charr fought once in 2021 and has fought once this year, stopping Nikola Milacic in the third round in Germany on May 28.
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
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