WBO Puts Pressure on Anthony Joshua!
What a difference a day can make! After months of frustrating negotiations, it finally seemed like the Tyson Fury versus unified heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-1, 22 KO’s) super-fight was set to go. Throughout the process it was Team Fury that presented the most reservation. For them they were not moving forward until the money they wanted was a certainty. They even threatened to abandon the fight on numerous occasions. Then, in the ninth hour, the WBC champ took to his social media to say that the fight was locked-in. The very next day, absolute disaster struck!
Following his second fight with former heavyweight champion Deontay “Bronze Bomber” Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO’s), the former champ sought a third bout. The thunderous punching Alabaman had lost the rematch and sought to enforce a rematch clause for a third dust-up. Unfortunately for him, complications brought on by COVID-19 initially prevented the trilogy from taking place. After so much time passed, Fury grew bored with the thought of facing the Bronze Bomber. He also copped an attitude as a result of Wilder endlessly labeling him a “cheater.” In consequence, he vowed never to face Wilder again.
Not willing to be so easily denied, Wilder enforced an arbitration clause in their contract. Ultimately he won that arbitration and now is promised a fight with Fury by September 15. With that critical victory, the Fury versus Joshua fight to determine one undisputed heavyweight champion essentially burned to ash. Some thought perhaps Wilder would take step-aside money, but that appears to be little more than a fantasy. Yet, it was enough to give hope to some. Now however, the WBO has unmercifully choked the life out of that like hope quicker than Radio Raheem from Spike Lee’s 1989 classic Do The Right Thing!
USKY’S UP NEXT!
Unwilling to sit idly by for some undetermined timespan, the WBO has issued a hardline directive to Team Joshua. Either they have to show proof within 48 hours that there is still the possibility that a bout with Fury can happen or Joshua must face his WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KO’s). Usyk, and #2 rated contender Joe Joyce for that matter, have been twisting in the wind waiting for the resolution of the Joshua versus Fury negotiations.
The WBO would name the former undisputed cruiserweight champion as the mandatory challenger for Joshua back in June 2020. Yet given the magnitude of the potential heavyweight bout to determine the undisputed champion, he was forced to wait. Joyce wanted to fight Usyk in the meantime. However, he was ultimately forced to wait as Team Usyk wanted to see what would happen with Joshua.
Now that the super-fight with AJ and the Gypsy King appears all but 100% kaput, the WBO has taken this no nonsense stance on the matter. So the historic fight that had so many on the edge of their seat Monday should officially be dead as the dinosaurs on Friday!
Obviously Usyk cannot be mad at this interesting turn of events as he gets the fight he has craved since 2020. Of course, Wilder is ecstatic over the whole matter. For one, he gets his shot at revenge. As a bonus, he has obliterated a historic payday for two men that he has open animosity for! This is one of those situations that proves once again real life is often more unpredictable than fiction.
3kingsboxing will continue to report on this ever twisting and evolving situation.
By: Bakari Simpson