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 left dead in the water after both parties declared that negotiations were over following 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 said 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 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.”
Where may the fight be held?
Although in serious jeopardy, if the fight does go ahead then it is highly likely to be at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, which has a roof – a key consideration for a winter event.
When would the fight take place?
Again, until contracts are signed – which looks increasingly unlikely – the bout would probably take place on December 3, a Saturday night in the middle of the Football World Cup. However, the Principality Stadium has also been booked for December 17, should the earlier date not work out.
How to watch on TV
TV details will be announced if the fight is made official, but it is certain to be on pay-per-view TV in the UK. The likely rights holders would be Dazn or BT Sport.
How to get tickets
Capacity for the Principality Stadium on fight night is expected to be about 75,000. Details of how to apply for tickets will be updated on this page if they ever go on sale.
Which belts would be on the line?
Joshua's recent defeat to Oleksandr Usyk means that the Ukrainian holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. He is also The Ring magazine champion. The only belt Fury still holds is the WBC title, but he regularly boasts that he is also the heavyweight division's lineal champion, meaning that he is the last man to have beaten the previous champion – something he achieved when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.
What are the fighters' records?
Joshua has 24 wins, 22 of them by knockout, and three defeats. Those defeats were to Andy Ruiz in 2019 and to Usyk in 2021 and then again in 2022.
Fury has 32 wins, 23 by knockout, and one draw – the controversial first fight of a trilogy against Deontay Wilder. Fury has never been beaten.
What are Telegraph writers saying?
Writing after Joshua's second defeat to Usyk, Gareth A Davies said: “It might look like a chance for Joshua to get into the title picture again, but in reality, the timing is all wrong for a fighter who is licking his wounds.”
Oliver Brown says that, despite Joshua's tatty recent record, his career can still be redeemed. “A suspect chin aside, he is still in immaculate physical condition. The psychological resolve is still intact, too.
“Boxing proved Joshua’s salvation when he was on remand as a teenager, facing a potential 15-year prison sentence. And it is to this brutal craft that he will continue to cling.”