Anthony Joshua isn’t fighting Tyson Fury, so why isn’t he? The Oleksandr Usyk fight was explained.
On Saturday, September 25, Anthony Joshua will face Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
It’s the fight that Oleksandr Usyk aspired to, but that Anthony Joshua may not have wanted. When it was revealed that everything was tentatively in place for Joshua’s long-awaited fight with Tyson Fury, with a deal reached to fight last August 14 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, there was a frenzy of excitement among boxing fans.
It had been years in the planning, but had been postponed due to Fury’s well-publicized health issues and Joshua’s failure to defeat Andy Ruiz Jr the first time around in June 2019. Add in the wrangling and problems generated by numerous television partnerships, and what had seemed like an endless build-up was about to culminate in one of the greatest pay-per-view events in history.
So it’s fair that many people are still perplexed as to why Joshua would face Ukrainian Usyk, 34, in London, while Fury prepares for his trilogy showdown with Deontay Wilder on October 9 in Las Vegas.
Proposals for an all-British fight with Joshua were scuppered by the arrangement struck for Fury’s trilogy series with Wilder. The pair agreed to fight three times in September 2018, after Fury had won two fights since his comeback from cocaine addiction and mental health issues. The first of those fights took place later that year in Las Vegas, and despite many pundits favoring Fury over the course of the 12 rounds, it ended in a disputed draw.
Fury won the rematch comfortably in February 2020, prompting tentative talks with Joshua’s camp – albeit against a backdrop of uncertainty as Covid-19 began to wreak havoc on sporting events.
Joshua, 31, had reclaimed his world championships from Ruiz Jnr at this point, but while Fury’s team was insistent that his third scheduled fight with Wilder could not be postponed, the ‘Bronze Bomber’ had other ideas.
He took his case to the courts to ensure that Fury’s next fight would be with him, and in May, judge Daniel Weinstein, who presided over the arbitration, decided that a third fight between Wilder and Fury must take place.
Fury’s camp shouted foul, Joshua’s camp raged, but what the hell happened? “Brinkwire News Summary.”