Tyson Fury backtracks on ‘Battle of Britain’ deadline (VIDEO)
World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury has handed British rival Anthony Joshua a reprieve after revealing on Thursday that he would afford further time to Joshua to agree to terms to their proposed December 3 clash, after previously announcing that his self-imposed deadline to sign a contract had expired.
Fury and Joshua, the best-known British heavyweights of their generation, appeared set to finally meet in the ring in just over two months' time following public proclamations from Fury that he would offer Joshua attractive terms to agree a deal.
However, Fury retracted the offer at 5pm UK time on Monday after stating in a social media video that his deadline had come and gone – despite Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, revealing the day before that there was “no chance” that a deal would be agreed by that time.
Hearn cited several discussions regarding broadcasting elements of the fight which required agreement before a contract could be signed, with executives from broadcasters BT Sport and DAZN meeting on Monday to iron out potential rights distribution issues.
This is a message to @anthonyjoshua.My promoter Frank Warren convinced me to let Queensberry carry on negotiating with your team this week, despite me knowing that you were never going to do this fight… pic.twitter.com/XpcHOpZJzk— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) September 29, 2022
“My promoter Frank Warren convinced me to let Queensberry carry on negotiating with your team this week, despite me knowing that you were never going to do this fight,” Fury said on Thursday.
“So the deadline was Monday,” he added. “I allowed Frank to continue doing meetings with your team and your broadcasters and all that. Now we have BT, DAZN and ESPN all on the same page. They are happy with everything, they are all ready to rock and roll.
“You guys ask for a lot of stuff, you want to be co-promoters when you're a voluntary challenger. Guess what, I said give it them, let them be co-promoters.
“You wanted full transparency, even though you're not an equal shareholder in this party. You know what I said? Give them full transparency, I've got nothing to hide, I'm not trying to rob anybody, I've not robbed anybody of a penny in my life.
“So now you've got full transparency, everything is clean and fair. Now Joshua, the ball is really in your court son.”
Joshua has publicly stated that he will sign the contract as soon as it is signed off on by his representatives, and had previously agreed to a 60-40 split in revenue share.
Fury further addressed Joshua and said that if he has any "dignity," he will sign the deal as soon as possible.
“Everybody is done. If you're a man, and if you've got any sort of dignity and pride about you, you'll get this contract signed today. This is it. There is no more days, weeks, months, you've had the contract now for over two weeks and you still haven't signed it,” Fury added.
“Show the public that you're really the big coward that I know you are, and don't sign it. I don't care either way if you sign it or you don't, it makes no difference to me at all. You're a beaten man and I'm a world champion. I'm chucking you a massive bone, but I know I can punch a face in so I'm willing to give you an opportunity.
“There's nothing more to do, everyone is happy. Get your team onto mine, they will be available all day, like they've been available the last two weeks. Get this contract signed!
“Let the British fans have what they want. There is no running, you have to fight me. You cannot escape. The Fury is coming.”
Hearn, though, says that he is baffled by the statements coming from the Fury camp, given that discussions are currently progressing at a rate he finds acceptable.
“I don't want to get involved with back and forths that are going to negatively impact this fight being made, but to be honest, we are quite baffled by the situation,” said the promoter.
“Firstly, when we agreed terms for the fight, it took us over a week to receive a draft contract. We have not had that contract for 14 days.
“I'm not sure why Tyson Fury keeps setting unrealistic deadlines whilst also offering the fight to a number of other heavyweights for the selected date. If he is serious about the fight being made, I suggest he allows Matchroom and Queensberry to keep working hard to make the fight, of which everyone has been trying hard to do.
“You can't publicly keep pulling out of a fight and then restart negotiations when there has been so many positive conversations had. We'll see what happens from here.”