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Boxing: Tyson Fury wants September Anthony Joshua showdown

The fight British boxing fans have long called for looks to be edging closer after Tyson Fury declared his team have been in contact with Anthony Joshua regarding a potential blockbuster clash at Wembley Stadium in September.

Despite repeated verbal barbs from both sides over the years, and from Fury in particular, the two British heavyweights have never stepped into the ring at the same time, but that could be about to change with September pencilled in for their first meeting.

Gypsy King calls out would-be rival with softer approach

Fury had made no secret of his desire to secure a unification bout with pound-for-pound king Oleksandr Uysk, but after talks broke down between the two fighters earlier in the year, the Gypsy King has once again set his sights on a meeting with Joshua. 

Talk surrounding "the biggest fight in British boxing history" has been frequent over the years but the two have so far failed to agree terms, apparently coming closest last year when there were rumours bouncing around about a clash in Cardiff on 3rd December. 

Instead, Fury stepped into the ring at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on that date, defeating Derek Chisora for the third time in his career via a 10th-round stoppage before immediately declaring a desire to fight Ukraine's Usyk. 

However, with that bout seemingly off the table for now, Fury took to social media on Friday evening to call out Joshua once again. 

He said: "A few days ago I sent a draft contract to Anthony Joshua for a fight in September at Wembley Stadium. 

"It's a fight that everyone wants to see, including myself. Come on AJ, let's give the world what they want to see," he added, tagging in Joshua and Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn. 

Fury, who had previously claimed he had no interest in fighting Joshua, was notably softer in his communication, suggesting that he genuinely wants the fight and that it could be closer to coming to fruition than ever.

Wembley showdown would still be a massive draw

While Joshua's career has faltered in recent years, there is no doubt that a clash with the unbeaten Fury would still be a gigantic sporting occasion between two of boxing's most recognisable names. 

Watford fighter Joshua lost his unbeaten record against Andy Ruiz Jr in New York in 2019 and two subsequent defeats to Usyk suggested that he is not the force he once was, while a victory via unanimous decision against Jermaine Franklin in April did little to change that. 

However, Joshua's options remain limited, and while there has been talk that he could step into the ring with Fury's three-time rival Deontay Wilder, a chance for a money-spinning Wembley bout against the Gypsy King could prove hard to resist. 

England's national stadium has a long history of hosting significant fights, including Henry Cooper's first clash with Muhammed Ali (then Cassius Clay) in 1963, Oliver McCall v Frank Bruno in 1995 and Carl Froch v George Groves in 2014. 

Joshua has fought at Wembley three times, first on the Froch-Groves undercard and then as the main event in knockout victories over Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin, while Fury took on Dillian Whyte in north London in April 2022, securing a sixth-round stoppage.

Potential for serious ramifications in the division

Any potential Fury-Joshua match-up will also have an impact elsewhere with other fighters all queuing up for a shot at some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division. 

Zhilei Zhang's shock win over Joe Joyce in April put the Chinese fighter in line to face Fury, with the bout reported for July, but Joyce has activated a rematch clause and will also target a title showdown with the Gypsy King should he be successful. 

Zhang has also not shied away from a potential rematch with Joshua, who defeated him at London 2012 on the way to winning Olympic gold. 

So while Fury v Joshua is moving closer, there are plenty of potential obstacles in the way as it stands. 

As for Usyk, he's set to step into the ring with another British fighter, Greenwich's Daniel Dubois, who became the mandatory challenger to the Ukrainian's WBA, IBF and WBO crowns when he won the WBA 'regular' heavyweight title last June. 

Usyk's clash with Dubois has reportedly been planned for August 12th at Poland's Wroclaw Stadium, with a 75-25 purse split in favour of the 36-year-old three-belt champion. 

Wilder and Ruiz Jr, both well known in the UK due to their respective rivalries with Fury and Joshua, remain ranked among the top six heavyweights and could also be in the mix for title shots over the next few months. 

Should Fury and Usyk eventually come to an agreement, the Gypsy King is 2/5 to win the fight with the Ukrainian a 2/1 shot.

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