Report: Rematch Clause Prioritised Over Joshua Fight

Warren: Fury-Usyk Rematch to Precede Joshua Fight

Warren Dismisses Joshua’s Immediate Hopes

In the ever-turbulent world of heavyweight boxing, Frank Warren has poured cold water on Anthony Joshua’s ambitions of facing the winner of the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk showdown later in 2024. Joshua, fresh off his victory over Francis Ngannou in March, is eyeing a clash with the victor of the Fury-Usyk series that kicks off this Saturday at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the undisputed heavyweight title.

Rematch Clause Takes Priority

There has been speculation that a lopsided result on Saturday could nullify the need for a rematch, thus opening the door for Joshua to step in. However, Warren has made it clear that the rematch clause is very much in play. “There’s obviously a rematch clause, but if Tyson comes through, of course we want to see the big fight between Fury and AJ. But I don’t think that will be the fight afterwards,” he stated.

Warren underscored the financial implications involved for the loser of the Fury-Usyk bout, suggesting that arranging step-aside money to bypass the rematch would be a complex and costly affair. “I don’t think it will be because there is so much money involved for the loser of this fight. I don’t know what sort of step-aside money you’d give them to do that.”

Joshua’s Waiting Game

Anthony Joshua’s immediate plans include a bout at Wembley Stadium in September. With this timeline, Warren projects that Joshua’s opportunity to fight the Fury-Usyk winner would likely come in February. “It would only happen if someone was out of action after this first fight – that would be a thing. But it will come around quick. [If he wins in September] Joshua will fight the winner in February.”

Photo: IMAGO

Joshua’s trainer, Ben Davison, who previously trained Fury, has expressed interest in a third fight between Joshua and Usyk. Joshua’s presence in Riyadh might be seen as a move to keep himself in the spotlight and possibly angle for a future bout against Fury, whom he has long desired to face. However, Warren and Fury seem united in their belief that Joshua must wait his turn.

Collaboration and Rivalries in Boxing Promotion

The potential for a Joshua-Fury fight owes much to the willingness of long-time rivals Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, to collaborate. Reflecting on their partnership, Warren noted, “I’ve only spoken to him a few times. It’s a game, isn’t it? It’s the same old bull**** and everybody loves all that.”

Warren highlighted the broader cooperation that has made the Fury-Usyk fight a reality, praising the joint efforts of multiple broadcasters. “It’s on four channels [this Saturday]: Amazon [Prime], TNT [Sports], Sky [Sports] and DAZN. If me and my old mate Eddie can work together, the TV companies can work together. Everybody’s working together to make this what it should be – which is a success.”

Enjoying the Moment

Despite the competitive nature of boxing promotion, Warren expressed his enjoyment of the current landscape. At 72, he relishes the opportunity to be involved in major events and working with younger talents. “I don’t have to get even. I’m having the time of my life. I’m enjoying myself, and it’s great. I enjoy working with the young kids, and as long as I’m enjoying it, great. If I wasn’t doing this, what would I be doing? I’d be driving my old woman mad.”

As the boxing world prepares for the Fury-Usyk clash, the focus remains not only on the fighters but on the intricate dance of promoters, broadcasters, and future contenders. The anticipated rematch and the ever-present shadow of Anthony Joshua ensure that the heavyweight division continues to captivate and intrigue.

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