Frank Warren tells Telegraph Sport the WBC champion’s offer is ‘100 per cent serious’
Tyson Fury’s promoters have sent a formal contract offer to Anthony Joshua for a world heavyweight title showdown in the United Kingdom this November.
Telegraph Sport can reveal that negotiations over a potential ‘Battle of Britain’ have resumed just over a year after the broke down when Fury was ordered to fight Deontay Wilder, with an initial proposal sent to Joshua’s team in the wake of the current WBC heavyweight champion’s offer on Monday afternoon.
In an effort to force Joshua’s hand, Fury issued an update on Tuesday afternoon to reveal his offer featured a 60-40 split, which he says will prevent Joshua from claiming he had been “low-balled” by the offer.
“Hi guys, quick one, I’m being bombarded with messages on ‘how much am I going to pay AJ?’ and everyone is saying 80-20, 70-30, 75-25,” Fury said in a video posted on Twitter.
“The actual answer is I’ve offered him 60-40 – 40 per cent of this amazing fight because I want this fight to happen. He doesn’t have any excuses now not to take it, he can’t say I’ve low-balled him with 20 per cent, 30 per cent. I’ve offered [his] people 40 per cent, take it or leave it. Let us know.”
Fury said on Tuesday on Twitter: “I really want this fight to happen. I think the 60/40 split for champion and challenger is fair. He will never get a better shot at the WBC heavyweight title. The ball is in your court Anthony Joshua.”
It will require rapid negotiation for what is a mega-millions all-British blockbuster, which was all but signed in 2021 after months of protracted negotiations only to be scuppered by Wilder winning a legal case to contractually fight Fury for a third time. But the prospect of a fight against Fury does offer Joshua an immediate lifeline back into title contention, in spite of consecutive defeats against Oleksandr Usyk.
Frank Warren told Telegraph Sport on Tuesday that Fury is “100 per cent serious” about making a voluntary defence of the WBC title against Joshua, with Cardiff expected to be the likely venue if the fight were to take place in the UK – although the promoter predicts that the British blockbuster would draw “two million pay-per-views buys” regardless of location.
Warren would not reveal specifics of the purse offer in the contract, although Fury’s claim that it is weighted 60-40 in his favour would make sense given his status as the defending champion against an opponent who has suffered successive defeats.
“The offer has gone from us to them,” explained Warren. “Tyson insists the fight is in the UK. He wants to fight here and deliver to the British fans. It will deliver a significant gate because there is massive interest from the British public and it will break all pay-per-view records.
“I personally think it could hit two million [pay per view] buys. Whatever it generates, is what it is worth.”
Warren confirmed moreover that at this “time of year you only really have one choice and that is the Millennium Stadium,” but that will not rule out huge offers potentially coming in from the Middle East, for a fight which could generate upwards of £80 million.
Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, remained sceptical although he added that there is a desire to make the fight happen from his fighter’s side, though he questioned the veracity of Fury’s message and his genuine willingness to take the contest now.
“I would love to get really excited about this,” said Hearn. “But personally, I don’t believe Fury is serious about this. Look – last week Fury retired, then he came back to fight Usyk, then he made an offer to Derek Chisora, then he wanted half a billion, then he’d retired again, then he’s fighting Usyk in December and now he’s fighting AJ.
“If he is, which I said to the Warrens last night, 100 per cent we will sit down and make the fight. Don’t forget, we signed for this fight last year before the arbitration forced the Deontay Wilder fight for Fury.
“We didn’t expect this opportunity, but it’s a great opportunity to fight for the world title in the biggest fight in boxing and we will definitely look at it. I’ll take [the contract] to AJ, he’s ready to go.”
Joshua’s stock has fallen since first losing to Usyk a year ago in London, and then again 18 days ago in Saudi Arabia, a brace of fights which has seen him lose three world title belts and his chips at the heavyweight poker table. But better now than never, if the contest does get over the line, Fury may have handed him a way back to the big time.