Tyson Fury is reportedly in negotiations to come out of retirement and face the winner of Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk.
Confirmation of a rematch between Joshua and Usyk is due to be announced early next week. The Ukrainian currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO belts after defeating Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.
The only belt Usyk does not hold is the WBC heavyweight title. That is owned by Fury, prompting speculation of a unification contest between the Gypsy King and the winner of Usyk vs Joshua.
According to the Daily Mail, a potential winner-takes-all bout could take place between the World Cup semi-finals and Final in Qatar at the same time thousands of football fans are in the Middle East.
The report adds that Prince Khaled bin Abdulaziz’s relationship with Fury’s promotor Frank Warren has helped engage the British fighter in discussions over a possible retirement U-turn and a unification bout that all boxing fans want to see.
Prince Khaled, who was responsible for taking Joshua’s rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr to Jeddah, told the Mail: “We are on our way to even greater change in the Kingdom and welcome the world on that journey through sport and specifically more boxing.”
While a government source added: “Now the eyes of the world will be firmly on the Kingdom for Joshua v Usyk as a prequel to Tyson Fury against the victor for the undisputed crown, a generation-defining event comparable to Muhammad Ali’s Rumble In the Jungle.”
Fury has stated on more than one occasion that his sixth-round knockout victor over Dillian Whyte in April would be the final bout of his professional boxing career. Doubters have suggested that the Gypsy King would return to the ring one last time, teased with the prospect of a heavyweight unification bout.
Matchroom promoter Hearn and Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk both seem to be targeting a date with Fury in the future. Hearn said: “But obviously you want to win, and if he [Joshua] wins, I believe the Tyson Fury fight will happen; if he doesn’t, he goes back to being a contender again.”
While Krassyuk told Sky Sports: “We shouldn’t look too far ahead. But the strategy is the strategy, it means the direction you have to go and this [facing Fury for undisputed] is exactly the direction.”