Anthony Joshua is asking for £20million and a guarantee to be the first opponent for the winner in order to allow Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk to fight next.
Joshua is contractually obligated to a rematch with Usyk for the unified WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight titles, but a deal has been put towards Usyk and Fury for an undisputed title fight in the Middle East.
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However, for that deal to be made, Joshua and Dillian Whyte, the mandatory challenger to Fury’s WBC belt, would have to be paid significant sums to step aside.
And Joshua also wants a near-impossible guarantee that he would be granted the next title shot once an undisputed champion is crowned, according to a new report.
The two-time champion is desperate to get back in the ring with Usyk after losing his belts to the Ukrainian last September, and almost immediately activated his rematch clause.
To be tempted to let that slide, Joshua would need to be offered £20million ($27m) as well as his contractual guarantee to the next title shot.
Meanwhile, Fury is locked in a seemingly doomed purse bid situation with Whyte, where their date for a decision has been moved multiple times.
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It is now expected to take place on Friday in what the WBC are insisting is the last delay, with a deal still able to be made before that takes place.
Fury has claimed that the latest step in negotiations saw Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn lose out on a reported $90m, although it is unknown to what he is actually referring.
The world heavyweight champion took to social media to make an outlandish Instagram post in which he can be seen saying: “Had to do this video.
“Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua have to be the worst damn businessmen in history!
“Today they lost $90m, goddamn sons of b****es, crazy!”
A deal to get Joshua to step aside would be difficult to manoeuvre due to Whyte’s mandatory status, meaning he holds a claim to the next undisputed title opportunity.
And while it could prove a blessing in disguise for Joshua to be able to get a warm-up fight in with his new training team, Hearn still says that he is laser-focused on a rematch with Usyk.
“It’s not just about the money, it’s about the plan,” Hearn said. “AJ doesn’t want someone to come and give him money and saying ‘right, see you later mate’.
“He wants to know what the actual plan is, and that’s the same with Dillian Whyte , he’s been waiting a long time and if he has to wait a couple of more months that’s ok but how does it work?
“That’s the hold-up really, and right now, I still think the favourite is the two fights, but we’ll see what happens.”
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