Tyson Fury has been backed to defeat Oleksandr Usyk when the heavyweights finally meet in their highly anticipated bout.

Fury and Usyk are set to meet in a fight that is tentatively scheduled for early 2024.

Widely considered as the world's leading heavyweight, Fury was pushed to the limit by UFC brawler-turned-boxer Francis Ngannou in a non-title bout in Riyadh on Saturday.

Indeed, Fury was fortunate to come away with a win, with two judges deciding in his favour.

Ryan Garcia, who is set to fight Oscar Duarte in December, believes the undefeated Fury will still have too much for Usyk, though.

"The Gypsy King, that's it," Garcia told Stats Perform.

"He's the best, the Gypsy King is an unbelievable talent. And he has an amazing personality. He's super, super cool."

Fury's meeting with Usyk will quench a long-held thirst, though despite years of posturing, a battle of the Britons between the 35-year-old and Anthony Joshua is yet to take place.

"I'll be excited to see him versus Anthony Joshua one day, I would want to go to that one that will be huge," Garcia said.

"And that’s the one I would actually be looking forward to more [than Fury v Usyk], to be honest."

Fury, for his part, was honest in his appraisal of his own performance against Ngannou in Saudi Arabia.

"He's given me probably one of my toughest fights in the last 10 years," Fury said. "Francis is a hell of a fighter, strong, big puncher, and a lot better boxer than we all thought he would be.

"He's a very awkward man and he's a good puncher and I respect him a lot."

Fury and Usyk bumped into each other in Riyadh prior to Saturday's fight, with the pair sharing an embrace.

And the duo faced off in the ring following the bout, with Fury saying:  "Let's go,"

Usyk added: "Let's go. I'm going to be fighting him, amazing."

Tyson Fury has not heard anything from Anthony Joshua over an all-British heavyweight bout, claims the former's promoter George Warren.

A long touted fight between the pair has been on the cards several times over the years, but has failed to materialise for multiple reasons.

Fury was set to face Oleksandr Usyk in a proposed undisputed world title bout later this month, while Joshua defeated Jermaine Franklin earlier this month.

Hope for another round of negotiations with former two-time world champion Joshua had been mooted, but now Warren says no discussions have been had.

"I don't know the answer to that," he told Sky Sports. "The other side spoke a lot about wanting to reach out and contact us after the fight with Franklin.

"We've not heard anything, not had any contact, so there's been nothing to discuss with Tyson.

"They made it quite clear pre-Franklin fight that they wanted to maybe look at that fight for the summer. They thought maybe there was an opportunity.

"I haven't heard from them. I haven't had a phone call, I haven't spoken to anyone about it. You'd have to ask them."

Joshua, who lost twice to Usyk including in a rematch last year in Saudi Arabia, returned to winning ways against American Franklin earlier this month.

However, he has since indicated he will not fight again until December, leaving the rest of the heavyweight division to look for other opponents.

Fury meanwhile has not fought since a trilogy bout victory against Derek Chisora in December.

Anthony Joshua has revealed his next fight will not be until December.

Joshua had not stepped into the ring for over seven months before returning to beat Jermaine Franklin via a unanimous decision at London's O2 Arena on April 1.

The two-time world heavyweight champion stated that he wanted to fight again in the next three months in order to "get the ball rolling."

Yet Joshua on Sunday stated that his next challenge will not be until the end of this year.

He wrote in an Instagram story: "My next fight is scheduled for December. Not ideal but everything is part of a bigger picture."

There has been talk of Joshua doing battle with either Dillian Whyte or Tyson Fury after he got the better of American Franklin.

The Brit lost his world titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September 2021 and lost his rematch with the Ukrainian In Jeddah last August.

Anthony Joshua is hoping to carry momentum from his victory over Jermaine Franklin by returning to the ring within the next three months.

Two-time heavyweight champion Joshua ended a two-fight losing streak with last weekend's unanimous points triumph over Franklin at London's O2 Arena.

Joshua went eight months between losing his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia and facing Franklin, but he does not expect the gap to be as long this time around.

"It's been nine months since I was last in the ring and I don't want to leave it that long again," he told BBC's One Show.

"I want to get back in there in the next three months, I'd say, and just kind of get the ball rolling."

Tyson Fury has been touted as the most obvious next opponent for Joshua, who called out his countryman after overcoming Franklin 118-111, 117-111, 117-111.

"I know who the fans want – they said Fury. The ball is in his court," Joshua told DAZN in his in-ring interview.

"I would 100 per cent be honoured to compete for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world. I stand here and I say that proudly. It would be an honour."

Drawn-out talks between the camps of Joshua and Fury have broken down on multiple occasions in the past.

Joe Joyce and Dillian Whyte have both called out Joshua over the past week, but the 33-year-old is still pondering his next opponent.

"I'm definitely going to be fighting in the next three months. But against who? It's still unknown," he said.

Joe Joyce expressed confidence he could overcome Anthony Joshua and feels he can provide a route back into title contention.

Joshua returned to winning ways against Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena last weekend, albeit not with the most impressive performance.

The 33-year-old is rebuilding his career after back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk, which saw him cede his three heavyweight belts to the Ukrainian.

Joshua has taken on a new trainer in the United States and called out compatriot Tyson Fury following his unanimous decision win against Franklin.

Discussions for that bout have previously fallen through, however, and Joyce believes he possesses a route back into the title picture that should appeal to Joshua.

"I'd knock both of them out with their performance the other night. I'd definitely force a stoppage on Franklin and Joshua's ripe for the picking," he told Sky Sports.

"It wasn't great but [Joshua] got the job done. He went 12 rounds, I thought he would come with some more firepower and aim to push a stoppage but he wasn't really putting shots together.

"He was [using] single shots and boxed kind of like he did in the [Andy] Ruiz second fight. So, it was a little bit disappointing.

"He seems to have gone, in my opinion, a bit backwards. He hasn't progressed. I think he lacked the combinations, but I think Franklin was a tough guy.

"That would be his route back in. It would definitely be his way back in because I'm in front of him now, at last, high up the rankings and obviously got the WBO Interim.

"I was always trying to catch up with him but now I've overtaken him, so that's good. That's what I wanted. But I haven't caught up to him financially yet so I need to have those big fights."

Anthony Joshua weighed in at a career-heavy 18st 3lb for Saturday's bout against Jermaine Franklin, which Eddie Hearn suggested was a sign he had "bad intentions for this fight".

Heavier than at his previous top weight of 18st 2lb for his 2017 clash with Carlos Takam, Hearn anticipates an "explosive knockout" from Joshua at O2 Arena.

By contrast, Franklin has lost 23lb since facing Dillian Whyte, weighing in at 16st 7lb to seemingly give Joshua a clear advantage in terms of power, if not mobility.

"There's always an over-analysis with his weight, but clearly he's come in with bad intentions for this fight," said promoter Hearn.

"In some fights, where you need speed and agility, he comes in lighter. But I think you're going to get an explosive knockout."

Joshua is backing himself for the same, adding: "I know I've got the possibility of doing it, but there's a process to get there. I just follow the process."

Franklin claimed to have "a chin of steel", but that is set to be put to the test by the focused Briton, who has vowed to retire if he loses.

"I've got my gameplan, got my mind right, and I'm ready to go for war," Joshua said.

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua's long-awaited bout could finally come this year and would be the "biggest heavyweight match in the world".

That was the message on Wednesday from Top Rank president Todd DuBoef, a key member of Fury's United States promotional team who wants to see the all-British clash in 2023.

Joshua faces Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London, though speculation continues to swirl the former could face Fury after his undisputed bout with Oleksandr Usyk fell through.

Fury's promoter Hearn added fuel to the fire after expressing hopes of reviving negotiations with the entourage of Joshua, who DuBoef suggested would deserve a headline fight if he defeats Franklin.

"I've always said that that is the fight," DuBoef told Sky Sports.

"Both of them have great brands, huge fanbases, and fortunately both of them come from the UK, so it's wonderful that your country has been able to produce these incredible prizefighters.

"That fight is always there, and, to me, is the biggest heavyweight match in the world, because of the personalities and the stories."

 

Both camps have pointed the finger at each other after an April 29 meeting at Wembley between Fury and Usyk failed to come to fruition.

"The frustration is for all of us," DuBoef added on that bout. "All of us are frustrated, right?

"And I think timing has been an issue with trying to make this fight happen. I'm not going to say never, but I think we all want to see this unification, and we all have hope.

"But there was a timeline that was set up, and it just got ahead of everybody and it became very tight.

"Fortunately, there's always hope and an opportunity because I think both fighters really know that this is what the sport wants, and what they want."

While holding out hopes over the mouthwatering fight between Fury and Usyk, DuBoef says his client could even face both the Ukrainian and Joshua before the end of the year.

"That's the way we move," he continued. "We move with immediacy, and we move trying to figure out and get rationality to a situation.

"I think we've always wanted this fight for Fury and Joshua, and we've wanted to see Fury and Usyk, and Tyson has wanted that, and the Warrens, and we've worked hard in getting this done.

"I would love to see, and you've just laid out a great 2023 for the Fury side, if we could do Usyk and Joshua this year, it would be fantastic."

Anthony Joshua has promised there are a "lot of big nights ahead" as he looks to make a statement in his return fight against Jermaine Franklin on Saturday.

Joshua will return to the ring for the first time in seven months as he looks to bounce back from consecutive defeats to Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk.

Franklin – his opponent – has a 21-1 record and lost his most recent bout against former world title challenger Dillian Whyte. 

Joshua has moved to Dallas, Texas for this fight camp as he links up with renowned trainer Derrick James, with the heavyweight looking to get back to basics as he chases a winning formula. 

Writing in his column for The Evening Standard, he said: "His message has been pretty simple… to go back to basics. 

"The best athletes all do the basics well. In my last fight, I feel I maybe moved away from that a little bit.

"So, much of the in-camp training for the Jermaine Franklin fight at the O2 [Arena] on Saturday has been about stripping it down to the bare bones, getting my jab right, my defence, all the fundamentals of boxing.

"This is just the next chapter in my story but it also feels like the start of a long run, one I'm confident will also prove to be a long run of success.

"I see myself boxing for another three or four years and it feels like there are a lot of big nights ahead."

The 33-year-old's fight in London on Saturday will be his first without a world title involved since April 2016, but Joshua recognised the importance of the bout and the influence of new coach James.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said: "This is massive! I've put in the work, I still dream big so I'm gonna go out there and make sure I get the job done. 

"The goal is to take him out.

"Derick is up there with one of the best people I've ever spoken to about boxing. 

"I appreciate his time and the fact that he took me one, he's a well sought after coach and I'm looking forward to showing him that he hasn't wasted his time by taking on this project."

Anthony Joshua will retire from boxing if he loses to Jermaine Franklin on Saturday.

Former WBO world champion Johnny Nelson had suggested Joshua should call time on his career if he loses for the fourth time, having already been defeated by Andy Ruiz Jr. and Oleksandr Usyk (twice).

And the 33-year-old confirmed he does intend to hang up his gloves if he is beaten by his American opponent at the O2 Arena in London.

"I will. I will retire if I lose. I'm not here to battle people. If people want me to retire I will retire," Joshua said to MailOnline.

"I'm not going to fight if people don't want me too. It's not even about the money. It's about the competitor in you. That's what's important."

Joshua said he would like to face Tyson Fury if the Gypsy King is unable to revive negotiations on a unification fight with Usyk, but also sounded as if he is looking forward to retirement and getting away from the pressure of elite boxing.

"It [pressure] comes with the business and it comes with the territory, I know that," he said. "I know when I am retired, I am gonna be chilling. I'm gonna be thinking f*** everyone. I am done.

"You lot put so much pressure on me so when I am done, the chains are going to be gone. I am going to be laughing and loving life."

Anthony Joshua should call time on his boxing career if he loses to Jermaine Franklin next weekend, according to former WBO cruiserweight world champion Johnny Nelson.

Two-time heavyweight champion Joshua has fallen down the pecking order for another shot at the belt after losing back-to-back fights to Oleksandr Usyk.

The 33-year-old has tasted defeat in three of his past five bouts, with Andy Ruiz Jr sensationally ending his opponent's unbeaten streak of 22 fights in June 2019.

Joshua returns to action on home soil at London's 02 Arena on Saturday in what will be his first fight since 2015 that has not been contested with a world title on the line.

And Nelson believes Joshua's career will effectively be over if he loses to Franklin, whose run of 21 wins in a row was ended by Dillian Whyte in November/

"If Anthony Joshua loses, he jacks it in," Nelson wrote in his column for Sky Sports. "If he doesn't jack it, he should jack it. Because it's a hard mountain to climb. 

"Especially when you've had the success and the heights that he's had. So he can't afford to lose. That's a must. Then from that, it's confidence building.

"We'll see if he really thinks 'you know what, I can eventually become world champion again, I'll fix what I got wrong'. He's only been boxing 10, 11 years as a professional fighter."

A showdown between Joshua and Tyson Fury twice fell through, but there has been renewed talk over the past week of the two men facing off later this year.

However, given the similar nature of Fury's proposed bout with Usyk also collapsing, Nelson is no longer interested in discussing that all-British clash.

"Personally, I fell in love with the idea at first but it was teased so much and it never happened," he said. "So I don't even don't want to talk about it."

Anthony Joshua has set his sights on becoming a three-time world heavyweight champion "within the next 16 months" as he prepares to face Jermaine Franklin.

The 33-year-old is not currently in the title picture after losing back-to-back fights to Oleksandr Usyk in September 2021 and August 2022.

Joshua has tasted defeat in three of his past five bouts, with Andy Ruiz Jr sensationally ending his opponent's unbeaten streak of 22 fights.

But the Briton believes he is on the road back to the top, with a huge showdown against Tyson Fury again being touted should he overcome Franklin at the O2 Arena on Saturday.

"I do and I did want respect from people in the industry that I admire, ex-legends in the game and when you're not a champion any more you feel like that goes away," he said.

"That was definitely something I was yearning for – the respect from ex-champions. When I'd lost it, it was like 'f***, I've lost that invincibility', but it's all good.

“We move forward. I'm not really doing it for that purpose any more because I'm not in that position, but the desire? 

"One is definitely to become champion, which I think is possible within the next 16 months.

"I think we've got to see what happens this year with the belts. Let them be competed for and then potentially let them go up in the air and then we'll see where the belts land. 

"Then it's about just staying consistent, staying focused on improving for these next 12 to 16 months while I'm in title contention."

Next weekend's fight will be Joshua's first since 2015 that has not been contested with a world title on the line.

"There is definitely not as much nerves," he said. "That kind of pressure, that pressure cooker is off a bit. The pressure was a lot, I can't lie to you.

"But when you want something so bad, I was really pushing that undisputed narrative for so long, that road to undisputed hashtag with all of the brands we work with. 

"We pushed it, but now we're at a new stage. We can't look back. We're only looking forward and I see a bright future and that kind of keeps me in good spirits."

Tyson Fury has accused Oleksandr Usyk of being a "coward" and "running" away after a proposed heavyweight unification title fight collapsed.

WBC champion Fury and WBA, WBO and IBF world champion Usyk were due to step into the ring at Wembley on April 29.

A deal could not be agreed, though, with both parties unable to come to an agreement over terms for a purse split in the rematch clause.

Usyk's promoter Alex Krassyuk pointed the finger at Fury for "putting so many obstacles in front of making the deal."

Mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois is instead seemingly next in line for Usyk, and Fury claims that is bout the Ukrainian wanted rather than facing him.

He said in a social media post on Thursday: "[You] tried all week to get out of it, begging for a rematch like a little girl. You got your rematch, then didn't even wanna fight at that.

"Always know that you was never man enough to tangle with the 'Gypsy King' ever in your life. You little 14-stone coward, and your full team know it as well, and all the lawyers have got the full information.

"Keep running. Fight [Daniel] Dubois at the Copper Box now, and always know that you or anybody else like you would never tangle with the Gypsy King!"

Anthony Joshua will not "sit around and wait" to enter discussions with Tyson Fury after the latter's proposed bout with Oleksandr Usyk fell through.

Usyk's camp confirmed on Wednesday that talks with Fury over a heavyweight unification bout at Wembley on April 29 had collapsed.

Fury's promoter Eddie Hearn later revealed he is hoping to revive negotiations with Joshua over an all-British showdown later this year.

But having failed to agree terms on a fight twice before, most recently at the end of last year, Joshua is not interested in more drawn-out discussions.

"I was supposed to fight him before I fought Usyk, the first time, and he pulled out due to his legal case, the arbitration, with [Deontay] Wilder," Joshua said. 

"Then we had the one for this December [when talks also broke down]. Will the fight with me and him get made? I don't know. 

"Look at all the s*** they are going through now with this Usyk stuff. It's just crazy. I don't publicise things, so it's actually good that people are starting to see what goes on.

"It's good that people can actually see the s*** that people have got to put up with to make a fight. But Me and Usyk got two successful fights done."

Joshua added: "I cannot say I am just going to sit around and wait for this geezer [Fury]. There are other great fights out there I can have. 

"Without Fury on my record I will not wake up tomorrow and regret my whole boxing career. If he is on it, I am on it, if he is not, he is not. Whatever."

Joshua is scheduled to meet Jermaine Franklin in London on April 1 as he looks to respond to back-to-back losses to Usyk.

Oleksandr Usyk's team doubt Tyson Fury ever wanted to fight the Ukrainian after talks over a heavyweight title clash broke down.

Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk raised the question after the two camps were unable to compromise on the financial details of the fight, such as any potential rematch purse split.

The pair were due to meet on April 29 at Wembley Stadium, having previously agreed to a 70-30 purse split in favour of Fury.

Usyk's manager, Egis Klimas, confirmed his client had pulled out after seemingly growing frustrated at Fury's continued demands.

In an interview with Sky Sports, promoter Krassyuk explained: "The Usyk side pulled out of further negotiations as the Fury side never had enough [and wanted] to pull everything and all rights to their side, I don't want to go into details as all negotiations were confidential, but I will tell you one thing, when a fighter doesn't want to fight he overprices himself knowing that the fight won't happen.

"They most likely forgot that Usyk is holding the majority of belts in the heavyweight division and Tyson just has one."

Fury only holds the WBC heavyweight title, after his trilogy victory over Deontay Wilder, whereas Usyk holds the WBA, IBF, and WBO belts after twice defeating Anthony Joshua.

Krassyuk added: "They claimed Tyson is a face and must have all the rights, but look at statistics on pay-per-view with Tyson vs Chisora and Usyk vs Chisora and then tell me who is who?"

Last year Fury's fight with Derek Chisora reportedly reached 500,000 pay-per-view sales, under half those supposedly made for when Usyk fought the same opponent in 2020.

A deadline of April 1 for the fight to be agreed had been set by WBA president Gilberto Mendoza, and this latest setback looks likely to put pay to any chance of the event being set before that date. 

Tyson Fury's heavyweight unification clash with Oleksandr Usyk is off after talks between the pair collapsed, according to reports. 

A fight date had been agreed for April 29 at Wembley Stadium with progress made in recent weeks after the pair had agreed to a 70-30 purse split in favour of Fury.

However, the two sides have since been unable to match up on other key details such as a rematch purse split, with Ukrainian fighter Usyk now said to have shut down his training camp.

"No matter how much Usyk compromised, he was pushed for more," Usyk's manager Egis Klimas said, according to reporter Steve Kim.

WBA president Gilberto Mendoza previously set a deadline of April 1 for the fight to be agreed, with the latest setback likely to scupper any chance of reaching an agreement before that date. 

Usyk, who has the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles, now looks set to return in June or July in a mandatory defence against Daniel Dubois. 

The 36-year-old was the undisputed champion at cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight.

Back-to-back victories against Anthony Joshua in September 2021 and August 2022 saw him capture and retain the three belts.

Fury, who last fought Derek Chisora in December, holds the WBC heavyweight title. It is unclear who or when he will next fight. 

The Briton had previously announced he would be entering a social media blackout as he began training camp for the Usyk fight.

He had made numerous demands in order to make the fight happen and suggested his opponent only warranted 30 per cent of the total fight purse. 

Usyk had agreed to this proposal but also requested that Fury donate $1million to relief efforts in Ukraine.

The bout would have marked the first crowning of an undisputed heavyweight title in the four-belt era. 

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