Boxing promoter Lou DiBella has said a fight with Tyson Fury feels like a ‘cash-out’ option for Anthony Joshua.
Joshua failed to regain the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles in August when he suffered a second straight decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk, the man who dethroned him last year.
As a result, an all-British heavyweight clash with Fury looked to be off the cards for good, until Fury offered “AJ” a shot at the WBC belt. A bout between the pair is being discussed, with a potential December date in the works.
“Joshua didn’t fight poorly against Usyk,” DiBella told Seconds Out. “He fought better than he fought [the first time], he just lost to a better boxer. If he was going to win the fight and fight Fury, is it so outrageous that he lost the fight and he’s going to fight Fury? No.
“But coming off that fight, two losses in a row, rushing to make year-end, to fight Fury on Fury’s timetable when you haven’t had the easiest stretch and you haven’t won a fight in a while… it almost seems like a cash-out to me. Like, you know: ‘Hey, here’s maybe my last opportunity to make this fight ever.’
“I’m sure that there will be massive money in that fight in the UK. I’m sure it’s a fight that’s gonna transcend boxing in the UK. So, I get it as a business proposition.
“I guess there’s nothing of the enormity of Fury and Joshua in the UK, and that maybe everybody involved just wants to grab the cash when there’s still a chance, right? There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the fight I most want to see.”
The unbeaten Fury last fought in April, knocking out compatriot Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium to retain the WBC heavyweight title.
Fury, 34, then spent the best part of the next four months claiming to be retired, before he committed to defending the WBC belt again.
But Fury instead turned his attention to Joshua, 32, with whom he signed a two-fight deal in 2021 before Deontay Wilder threatened legal action and secured a trilogy bout with Fury.
Fury, who fought Wilder to a controversial split draw in 2018, had stopped the American in their 2020 rematch and did the same in their third meeting last October.