World heavyweight champion Fury defended his title for the first time against Deontay Willder in a trilogy bout earlier this month, and now his second defence has been set.
Tyson Fury will fight one of British heavyweight duo Dillian Whyte and Joe Joyce in his next world title defence next March, according to his promoter Bob Arum.
The ‘Gypsy King’ defended his world heavyweight title for the first time in a trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder earlier this month, and is already plotting his return to the ring.
Whyte was due to fight Otto Wallin next weekend at the O2 Arena in London, but pulled out with a shoulder injury, and is expected to be ordered as the mandatory challenger by the World Boxing Council (WBC) regardless.
He is the interim champion at heavyweight with the WBC, having held the position as top contender for years, minus a hiccup last year against Alexander Povetkin, which he rectified in March by knocking the Russian out in Gibraltar.
Meanwhile, Olympic silver medalist Joyce announced himself as one of the world’s best heavyweights when he stopped Daniel Dubois last year, before finishing Carlos Takkam over the summer at Wembley Arena.
Joyce is signed with Fury’s British promoter Frank Warren, so a deal could likely be agreed quicker than with Whyte, who is signed to Warren and Arum’s direct rivals Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
“The question is, when will he [Fury] fight next?” Arum said in an interview with Blue Blood Sports TV. “If I had to guess, I would say probably March.”
And Arum insists that Whyte still must fight Wallin before he is installed as the mandatory challenger officially for Fury’s title.
“Dillian Whyte is not the mandatory, and that’s what the WBC hasn’t done,” the American continued.
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“Dillian Whyte has an obligation to fight Wallin, and we’ll see.
“But again, in March, I’d like Tyson Fury to fight in the UK, and I would think among the opponents would be Dillian Whyte or maybe this big English guy, Joe Joyce.”
The plan had been for Whyte to face Wallin next week, and then be installed as mandatory challenger, with the only caveat being if Fury could organise an undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk.
But with Usyk contractually tied into a rematch with former champion Anthony Joshua for the early part of next year, that was almost guaranteed not to happen.
Joshua has been touring America and meeting with top coaches as he considers wether or not to change up his team for the rematch with Usyk, after being comfortably beaten in their first fight last month.
He has met with Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso, Ronnie Shields and Robert Garcia in the States, but it remains to be seen if he will keep head trainer Rob McCracken involved.
McCracken and the rest of Joshua’s corner were criticised for their coaching in the Usyk fight, with footage showing someone telling Joshua he was boxing “brilliant” during rounds he had clearly lost.
And Arum believes that it won’t matter who is training him for the rematch, saying that he will likely lose regardless of who is in his corner.
“Usyk is too fast for him, too smart, and it’ll take Joshua years to learn how to fight a southpaw,” he explained.
“He didn’t have a clue in how to fight a southpaw. Usyk will beat him worse the next time, no matter who his trainer is.”