No progress made on Joshua clash, says Fury


FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury - WBC Heavyweight Title - The Grand Garden Arena at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, United States - February 22, 2020 Tyson Fury celebrates with the belts after winning the fight against Deontay Wilder as referee Kenny Bayless looks on REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Tyson Fury has played down the chances of a heavyweight unification showdown against Anthony Joshua this year, claiming no progress has been made in fixing the fight.

Joshua beat Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in December to retain his IBF, WBO and WBA titles and set up the prospect of a mouth-watering clash with fellow Briton Fury, the WBC belt holder.

Yet despite Joshua's manager Eddie Hearn saying in January that a deal was almost done, Fury says the fight was no closer to being arranged than it was a year ago.

"They've had a full year to try and make this fight happen. It is what it is. We're no further forward today than we were a year ago," Fury told ESPN on Wednesday.

"The way it is at the moment (with COVID-19), I don't think it has got much to do with the fighters.

"It's to do with the venue, date, place, site fees. It's to do with everything but the fight itself."

Fury, 32, who has not fought for a year since his knockout win against American Deontay Wilder, did not completely rule out a clash with Joshua in the summer, but says he will fight twice this year regardless of whether that happens.

"If that fight doesn't happen this summer, it's got to happen sooner or later," Fury said. "But Top Rank has to give me two fights this year. I will fight two times on (Top Rank network partner) ESPN. I don't care who it is.

"If it's not Joshua, we're looking to fight in April or early May, and the end of the year. If it's Joshua, then June and the end of the year. Bang, bang. So, 2021 is looking bright."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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