Fight Talk: ‘Dead in the water’ to ‘this fight is on’ – the Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury saga continues

Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua

One promoter says it’s “dead in the water,” the other says “the fight is on”. In this week’s Fight Talk we share the latest ups and downs in the Tyson Fury v Anthony Joshua negotiations.

We also look back on another eventful Derek Chisora fight week which included an awkward breakfast, a phone call from mum Chisora and a split decision which could have gone either way.

And we discuss the spectacular Katie Taylor v Natasha Jonas clash which lived up to all the hype and find out how the boxing world reacted to Sunny Edwards becoming Britain’s newest world champion.

The wait goes on

The biggest all-British fight in boxing history will last a maximum of 36 minutes.

The wait for the biggest all-British fight in boxing history to be finalised feels like it has gone on for 36 years.

As another week in the fight game passes us by, the back and forth between Anthony Joshua’s and Tyson Fury’s representatives continues.

We were first told in June 2020 a two-fight deal had been agreed and then nine months later a similar announcement was made.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been waiting for that final confirmation of a summer showdown, with Saudi Arabia the likely destination.

Last week Bob Arum, who co-promotes WBC heavyweight champion Fury, said the “fight was dead in the water,” claims which Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn denied.

An event of this magnitude – and with the amount of money involved – understandably takes time to get over the line, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has created further obstacles.

Boxing fans are not usually privy to every minute detail involved in putting on a fight, whereas with Joshua-Fury we’ve been educated on site fees, promoter politics, the role of lawyers, long-form agreements in the paperwork (whatever that means) and every little logistical hurdle possible.

However, the latest news is pretty positive.

Hearn confirmed both sides are now reviewing contracts for the site deal and, speaking to Sky Sports on Saturday, he said: “This fight is on, this fight is happening. I believe you’ll get an announcement next week.”

The promoter may be confident, but some fans are not…

Fans on Twitter voice frustrations over Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury not yet being signed. One fan says "Nobody care anymore" while another says "I won't be celebrating until it's official."

While for many the frustration is close to reaching tipping point, it does seem a fight announcement is edging (ever so slowly) closer.

And the drawn-out negotiations will be long forgotten once the bell rings, we hear the words “round one” and the two big men advance towards each other from opposite corners.

We hope.

Breakfast, a call from mum Chisora and a split decision

We were treated to a packed card from the Manchester Arena on Saturday night, headlined by a heavyweight tussle between Briton Derek Chisora and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker.

Before we discuss the result, the build-up in fight week was full of the weird and wonderful.

Just a couple of days before the two men traded leather, Chisora and Parker nattered away over breakfast as if they were best buddies…

And then there was the whole ring walk controversy on Friday as Chisora lost a coin toss to decide who walks first or second.

The Londoner threatened to pull out of the fight if he had to make his entrance first.

Chisora even started packing up his belongings and was reportedly ready to leave the bio-secure bubble hotel.

Boxing trainer Shane McGuigan wasn’t buying it and suggested it was all just a ploy to generate interest in the fight…

Shane McGuigan on Twitter says: "Signs (that) the PPV's not doing well. Don't fall for it folks."

PR stunt or not, the fight went ahead after Chisora’s mum convinced him to change his mind, according to his manager David Haye…

As for the bout itself, Parker – who was knocked down in the first round – edged a split decision which divided not only the judges but fans, fighters and pundits too.

Dillian Whyte, who has beaten Chisora twice, called it a robbery and believed his former foe won by two rounds.

Former cruiserweight world champion Tony Bellew also had Chisora winning…

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s coverage of the fight, boxing correspondent Mike Costello said: “I made Parker the winner by three rounds.”

Promoter Hearn gave it to the home fighter…

And in his post-fight interview, even Parker said he wasn’t sure on whether he’d be given the decision.

So what now for Chisora?

Having lost 11 of his 43 fights, some fans think he should retire…

Fans on Twitter call for Chisora to retire. One fan says he was "again beaten a fighter who is above UK or European level"

Parker is a former WBO champion and Chisora has shown time after time he can mix it with the top contenders in the division.

He has quashed any idea of retiring and has called for an immediate rematch.

You feel the 37-year-old may still have a little bit left in the tank.

Taylor and Jonas put on a masterclass

In last week’s Fight Talk we suggested Katie Taylor and Natasha Jonas could well steal the show in Manchester.

And so they did.

Nine years on since they met in the Olympics – this time in the professional ranks and with all of the world lightweight belts on the line – Irishwoman Taylor’s hand was raised yet again with a close points win over Liverpool’s Jonas.

It was boxing of the highest standard, a fight which was worthy of (and many feel should have been) headlining the card.

Current fighters, former pros and boxing trainers applauded…

We could see the rematch next in front of crowds or Jonas may have another crack at Briton Terri Harper’s WBO super-featherweight title after the two fought to a draw last year.

Sunny is shining

And finally, it may have gone a little under the radar this weekend among casual boxing fans but Britain has a new world champion.

After 12 rounds at London’s iconic York Hall on Friday, Sunny Edwards heard the master of ceremonies belt out the words every young fighter dreams of: “And the new…”

The 25-year-old beat Moruti Mthalane to win the IBF flyweight strap, following in the footsteps of brother Charlie, a former WBC flyweight champion.

Edwards’ work-rate, slick skills and majestic movement earned the praise of a British boxing legend…

A former world champion…

And TV show First Dates star/huge boxing fan Fred Sirieix…

But the best piece of reaction to Edwards’ win was this throwback from the 2012 London Olympics from WBO super-featherweight champion Jamel Herring…

Fight Talk will be back next week when we bring you all the reaction from Saturday’s huge Texas tear-up, the unification clash between Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders and the Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

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