The landscape of the heavyweight division and the future of Anthony Joshua’s three world title belts will be decided within 10 days.
Negotiations over a fight between Joshua and Deontay Wilder, holder of the World Boxing Council belt, have broken down several times. The Briton, holder of the World Boxing Association “super”, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organisation belts, acknowledges that the only route is an alternative fight after the WBC ordered a rematch between Deontay Wilder, its champion, and Tyson Fury. Those talks must be finalised by Feb 5.
Telegraph Sport understands that Madison Square Garden in New York has therefore been reserved by promoter Eddie Hearn for Joshua to fight there on June 1, which would be against the American Jarrell Miller, ranked highly with three of the four sanctioning bodies. But Wembley Stadium is also still booked for April 13. The London fight, if it happens, will be a rematch with Dillian Whyte – who, Telegraph Sport understands, has been offered close to £5 million.
Joshua has also admitted that he hopes Fury is part of his future plans. But not for now.
Negotiations between Wilder and Fury are moving on behind the scenes, led by promoter Frank Warren and American Al Haymon, the WBC sanctioning body, having ordered they agree a deal for a rematch. It is likely that Hearn is waiting for the outcome of the Fury/Wilder negotiations, which ought to be complete by a week tomorrow, if that rematch after the controversial draw is to go ahead immediately.
The signs are that it will, given the interest in the United States after the first dramatic encounter on Dec 1.
The WBC officially enforced its champion to make his next title defence against Fury. It leave Britain’s unified heavyweight champion close to making a decision, with Fury, he admits, also in his plans.
Fury is clearly in shape, taking “a short two-week sharpener” in Marbella earlier this month according to trainer Ben Davison, in preparation for an imminent move into camp in the US again.
Fury weighed 17st 14lb after the stint in Spain, according to Davison.
“The great thing with Tyson now is he has his regime and he loves his routine. He’s in the best shape of his life, and we are now just waiting for the decision to be made on the fight,” he said.