JEFF POWELL: Joshua is a winner whatever happens in bout with Fury

JEFF POWELL: Tyson Fury holds all the chips with Oleksandr Usyk keeping boxing in suspense until 2023 – and Anthony Joshua is a winner whatever happens in a Battle of Britain… just check his bank balance!

  • Anthony Joshua has been offered a 60-40 split by Tyson Fury for November fight
  • AJ has accepted the terms but said the fight must take place on December 17 
  • Fury holds all the cards with Oleksandr Usyk not deciding his future until 2023
  • Whatever happens, if there is a Battle of Britain between them, everybody wins 

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody tens of millions of pounds. 

There was widespread exasperation when Oleksandr Usyk insisted on keeping the world of boxing in suspense until at least February to decide whether he or Tyson Fury will become the first undisputed world heavyweight champion for two decades. 

Now, lo and behold, it transpires that the Ukraine war mascot’s decision to take a respite with family and then visit front-line comrades has brought fruition to the Battle of Britain. For which this country seems to have been waiting since Queen Boadicea took up ill-fated arms against the Roman conquerors in AD 61. 

Tyson Fury is ready to put his belts on the line for a Battle of Britain against Anthony Joshua

Fury’s fight against Joshua (pictured) is now close after AJ accepted the terms being offered

The Gypsy King will be expecting better fortunes than his royal and ancient ancestor when he goes into much-belated action against Anthony Joshua this December.

Plus bagsful more coins for passage for his midwinter travel to Cardiff’s roofed-in Millennium Stadium. Something like £50million, with up to double that amount to follow if he wins that one.

Joshua, too, stands to bank a pretty penny. Win or lose.

Both stand to benefit from saying ‘let’s get it on’ as iconic Las Vegas referee Mills Lane used to proclaim when his gladiators touched gloves.

 Fury’s camp has proposed a 60-40 purse split but there are disagreements over the fight date

One of Fury or Joshua stands to cash in twice over by going on to confront Usyk. So do we all. Albeit at cost rather than reward to those purchasing tickets or pay-per-view-TV subscriptions. I thank the lords of Fleet Street for my ringside seats.

In common with everyone else I will be relieved as well as gratified to see them actually fight after all the years of tap-dancing.

Of course there are some more heavy-footed negotiations ahead. But the table has been largely cleared by Usyk’s second successive victory over AJ.

Fury holds the WBC title. Joshua has lost the WBA, IBF, WBO, Ring magazine and, for what it’s worth, IBO belts.

The Manchester giant holds the chips. Britain’s Olympic gold medalist needs redemption and a restoration of his self-esteem.

Joshua has lost his last to fights back-to-back against Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk (right)

As Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren holds the aces. Eddie Hearn, for Joshua, will argue fan-pulling power but his Matchroom stable’s poster boy has pride to reassert.

It is interesting that AJ referred Fury’s challenge to his own management and promotion company.

Fury has renounced his quitting of the ring while Joshua has declared himself ‘a natural born fighter for ever.’

Neither, for their own sense of honour, can afford to turn this down.

The bookies quote Fury as a 2-7 on favourite. Joshua is out at 5-1 against.

Finite prediction must await critical scrutiny of both in the week of a fight for the ages. 

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