A long-anticipated all-British heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua appears closer than ever.
Joshua’s management group said in a post on Twitter on Tuesday that its fighter has accepted the terms presented by Fury for a bout on Dec. 3.
That was made known to Fury’s team on Friday, the 258MGT group said, before both parties agreed to halt communication following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday.
”We are awaiting a response,” posted the management team, which said it was speaking on behalf of Joshua along with the fighter’s promoter, Matchroom.
The response was pretty much immediate from Fury’s British promoter, Frank Warren.
”Contract will be with you very soon,” Warren said on Twitter.
In a video on social media last week, Fury – the WBC champion – said he was willing to offer Joshua 40% of the purse for a title fight before the end of the year.
”He doesn’t have any excuses now not to take it,” Fury said. ”He can’t say I’ve low-balled him and offered him 20 or 30%. I’ve offered (his) people 40% – take it or leave it.”
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said he would be interested in making the fight if Fury’s offer was serious.
It has been reported in the British media that the purse for any rematch – if Fury was to lose – would be a 50-50 split.
The unbeaten Fury appears to have gone back on his decision to retire in the wake of beating another British fighter, Dillian Whyte, in front of around 90,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium in April.
Fury’s hopes of landing a fight with Oleksandr Usyk, who retained the WBA, WBO and IBF belts by beating Joshua in Saudi Arabia last month, were dashed when the Ukrainian said he did not intend to fight again this year.
Fury turned his sights on Joshua, who said after the Usyk fight that he intended to work his way back up to being a three-time champion – potentially facing opponents in the second tier of the heavyweight division – after losing three of his last five bouts.
What would have been a fight to be undisputed champion between Joshua and Fury was close to being arranged last year, only for an arbitrator in the United States to rule that Fury was contractually bound to fulfil a third fight with Deontay Wilder.
Joshua, who was heavyweight champion at the time, then decided to fight Usyk and lost to the Ukrainian in London.
More AP boxing: https://apnews.com/hub/boxing and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports