ANTHONY JOSHUA will face a “quality opponent” at Wembley Arena on December 17 after his fight with Tyson Fury collapsed.
AJ’s Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn officially declared that the star’s proposed Battle of Britain is OFF on December 3 with the WBC champion after negotiations failed.
Fury initially looked to unify the belts against Oleksandr Usyk, 35, who beat Joshua twice, but the Ukrainian hero locked himself out until next year to rest and recover after returning home to loved ones for the first time.
That led to the Gypsy King surprisingly calling out AJ and offering him a 60/40 financial split in his favour.
The promoters traded deals as the Fury grew increasingly frustrated.
He originally set a deadline for 5 p.m. Monday, September 26, but then extended it by a few days.
Hearn claimed he returned a definitively revised contract last week but has heard nothing from Frank Warren’s son George and has now declared the fight dead but remains open to reviving talks.
Although he didn’t reveal who the two-time heavyweight opponent would be, Hearn has now revealed that AJ plans to be back in action against a top 20 contender before Christmas.
His revelation came while speaking to iFL TV about the Fury issues, where he said: “Ultimately the fight couldn’t be fought now. can it be done Yes, 100 percent.
“Mr. Fury categorically told us the fight was dead and there was no way he was taking the fight.
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“From AJ’s perspective, I don’t think he wants to get involved with him and we’ve been told that twice. One was the last, last time.
“We will look at dates and venues. December 17th is a date we like.
“The choice of venue isn’t great for December 17th. Wembley Arena is a great arena but in terms of size I think it fits 10,000, 11,000. But AK wants out. He’s been training hard.
“December 3rd was never an ideal date and someone started playing this to me like I said last night. ‘See, see, it was never an ideal date.’ I’ve said that a million times.
“We wanted December 17th. she [Team Fury] told us, ‘No. The only way I can get the fight is December 3rd,” and AJ said, “I’m ready to fight that day.”
“That gives him a little bit more time because he’s still suffering a 12-round loss to the pound-for-pound No. 1 [Usyk]. So he will continue and we will continue to play.”
Hearn added, “He [Joshua] accepted it was done last Monday when Tyson Fury came out publicly and berated him and said: ‘The fights off.’ Then when he did it again on Thursday and said: ‘The fights off, face off with all the others in the back, you big bastard.’
“How many times do you have to say it before the other person says, ‘You know what? Leave it.’
“But then the thing is, they never called back after he said that. No he did `nt. It’s fine because, as John said, we’re costing AJ £110m.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6368341/anthony-joshua-fight-december-17-wembley-arena/ Anthony Joshua fights “a high profile opponent” at Wembley Arena on December 17 after Tyson Fury’s fight collapsed