Tyson Fury says he will fight Anthony Joshua next year if the Oleksandr Usyk fight cannot be made.
Fury, the reigning WBC champion and Usyk, who holds the IBF, WBO and WBA titles, are on collision course for a fight to crown the heavyweight division’s first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.
But after a draining 2022 that saw him return to Ukraine to join territorial defence forces before going into camp for his title bout against Joshua, Usyk plans to take a rest and has insists the fight will not take place before the end of the year as originally hoped.
And should the unification fight not materialise in 2023, Fury says the Battle of Britain against Joshua that fell through so spectacularly last year will be back on the table.
‘Even though he has lost three of his last five fights, I still think people would like to see that fight,’ Fury said of a meeting with Joshua.
‘So if Oleksandr Usyk doesn’t want the fight for whatever reason, then we’ll go and offer AJ the fight.’
Fury would now appear to have completely abandoned retirement talk despite vowing to step away from the ring earlier this year.
‘The Gypsy King’ now insists he will fight this year and his return to the boxing ring could be confirmed as early as next week with promoter Frank Warren working on finding him an opponent.
‘I am going to be fighting very soon. We are still looking for an opponent,’ Fury said.
‘Usyk won’t be ready. Whoever is available, whoever Frank Warren gets for me that’s who I will defend my WBC belt against.’
Joshua meanwhile is also set to fight again before the year is out following a second consecutive defeat to Usyk in August.
Eddie Hearn told Metro.co.uk this week the former champion will be in action against a top-15 ranked opponent in December with a stadium showdown against Dillian Whyte being targeted for next summer.
‘The Dillian Whyte fight is definitely easier to make than the Wilder fight. But they are, as always, going to be wanted to be paid as much money as possible.
‘But I think it is quite easy for me to make that fight. AJ wants that fight, Dillian wants that fight and that’s a fight we will definitely see next summer.’
‘I don’t want to throw out names but anyone in the top 15 [will be Joshua’s next opponent],’ Hearn said. ‘It is not going to be Wilder or Whyte next, but the others around the top 15 with the governing bodies.’
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