Joshua, Fury talks halted in respect of Queen


Peter Akinbo

Talks between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury over a potential heavyweight super-fight have been put on hold out of respect for the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday.

Following Joshua’s second straight decision defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in August, a result that saw Joshua fail to regain the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles from the Ukrainian, it was believed that an all-British clash between the British-Nigerian and Fury looked to have slipped away for good.

However, last Monday, WBC champion Fury offered the 32-year-old a shot at his title, and Joshua had even agreed to a 60-40 purse split in his opponent’s favour as talks advanced throughout the week. The Queen’s death on Thursday then led to the cancellation of many sporting events in the UK, including all boxing over the weekend, and it also affected talks between Joshua and Fury’s camps, according to Fury’s co-promoter, Frank Warren.

Both fighters paid tribute to the monarch with posts on social media, and out of respect have not posted any further updates.

Warren joined talkSPORT’s Fight Night to share his tribute to the Queen and said that talks had been paused.

He said: “We’ve put it all on hold at the moment. It wasn’t appropriate obviously. That’s how we feel.

“We’ve put it on hold and will pick up on it in the next week or so.

“From our perspective, we don’t feel it is appropriate out of respect for what has happened.”

Fury, 34, last fought in April, knocking out Dillian Whyte at London’s Wembley Stadium to retain the WBC heavyweight title. Fury then claimed to be retired over the following months before informing the WBC in August that he intends to continue boxing.

The unbeaten Briton has pressured compatriot Joshua to accept a late November or early December fight while Joshua wants to return later in December. Fury is keen to fight earlier so he can face Usyk in March 2023.

Joshua would enter such a bout on the back of two straight losses, both having come against Usyk, who dethroned Joshua in September 2021 before retaining the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts against him this August.