The mega-fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua proposed for Cardiff on December 3 for the world heavyweight title and worth an estimated £80 million was dead in the water on Monday night after both teams declared negotiations were over after a month of talks.
Queensberry Promotions, Frank Warren's promotional outfit representing Fury who first offered the fight to Joshua – with a 60/40 purse split already agreed between the two sides – told Telegraph Sport that "exhaustive attempts to get the fight over the line" had "come to a standstill" and that Joshua's team appeared to be inconclusive in their responses to close the contract.
Rival promoter Eddie Hearn also declared the proposed Fury versus Joshua was officially off on Monday. However, in a statement released via Matchroom Sport, Hearn made his counter claim and said that the Joshua camp had not heard back from Fury's team since his latest social media video last week, where 'The Gypsy King' demanded that they sign the contract.
Regardless, it appears that Joshua's team has taken the sensible option of withdrawing their fighter based on the balance of contractual rights "not suiting their fighter," according to Hearn. "You have said I have pulled my fighter out of this," Hearn said. "I work for my client Anthony Joshua and he makes his own decisions. I don't make decisions for him. If the contractual conditions aren't right, he's not going to take the fight."
Frank Smith, the CEO of Matchroom Boxing, told Telegraph Sport that "the fight will not go ahead on December 3 but the relationship between the respective teams is very good and I believe Joshua and Fury will meet in the ring in the future. I do. 100 per cent."
In truth, after back-to-back losses, this was an inauspicious time for Joshua to meet the No 1 heavyweight in the world in undefeated Fury.
It is unclear against whom Joshua will now fight late in the year, while Fury has been mentioned in possible contests with Andy Ruiz Jr, Mahmoud Charr and Derek Chisora, as the 'Gypsy King' warms up – if victorious – for an undisputed title fight with Oleksandr Usyk who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, in the Middle East in late February or early March 2023.