Anthony Joshua out. Mahmoud Charr in.
That’s the word from heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury, who announced on social media that Joshua missed his deadline to sign a contract to fight him Dec. 3 and will not be his opponent. Instead, he will defend his belt against Charr, possibly in Cardiff, Wales.
We’ll see whether this is the final word on the subject or hope remains for the all-British showdown.
Fury, obviously tired of waiting for the deal to be completed, said Joshua had to sign on the dotted line by 5 p.m. Monday U.K. time or he would move on.
‼️ Tyson Fury has now declared that he will NOT be fighting Anthony Joshua next because AJ has not signed the contract today…
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 26, 2022
The fighters’ handlers met Monday to iron out lingering details, primarily how the fight would be televised and streamed. Fury and Joshua are aligned with competing broadcasting companies.
However, no final deal was struck. And Fury followed through on his threat.
He said on a video: “Well, guys, it’s official. D-Day has come and gone. It’s gone past 5 o’clock Monday. No contract has been signed. It’s officially over for Joshua. He is now out in the cold, with the wolfpack. Forget about it. Idiot! Coward! Always knew he didn’t have the minerals to fight ‘The Gypsy King.’ Good luck with your career and your life. End of [story]. Peace out.”
Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) was expected to face Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship after the Ukrainian defeated Joshua in consecutive fights. However, Usyk indicated that he won’t fight until next year and Fury didn’t want to wait.
That’s why he turned to Joshua, who remains an attractive opponent in spite of his setbacks. A Fury-Joshua showdown might be the biggest fight in British boxing history from a business standpoint.
However, it appears at the moment that fight will have to wait too, which undoubtedly is disappointing to fans.
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Charr? The 37-year-old Lebanese-born German is a longtime contender with solid skills and decent size (6-foot-3½, around 245 pounds) but he isn’t in the class of the top big men.
He has lost his biggest fights, including a fourth-round knockout against then-champion Vitali Klitschko in 2012. He also has losses against Alexander Povetkin, Johann Duhaupas and Mairis Briedis. He won three fights after the Briedis setback and then left the sport for 3½ years at least in part because of promotional issues. He’s 2-0 in his comeback, stoppages of Christopher Lovejoy Nikola Milacic.
Fury seems to be happy to face Charr (33-4, 19 KOs).
He wrote on Instagram: “Looking forward to fighting a man who wants to fight & has fire & desire. Fought some of the best fighters & now stepping up again! Get in there Charr.”