Plans for the all-British mega-fight were thrown into chaos on Monday evening - thanks to former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
'The Bronze Bomber' had taken Fury to arbitration court in an effort to force the unbeaten Brit to face him for a third time. Wilder lost his world title to Fury in their second fight, when 'The Gypsy King' defeated him via seventh-round stoppage in February last year.
The contract for that fight, though, included a rematch clause (for both fighters) and Wilder was adamant he should receive his trilogy fight with Fury before a bout with Joshua takes place.
The court agreed with the American, declaring that Fury vs Wilder 3 must happen before September 15 this year. Of course, this timeline all but ends any prospect of Fury squaring off with Joshua as planned.
The only possible alternative to Fury facing Wilder next was for an agreement to be reached where the Alabama native would step aside - presumably with a large sum of money involved.
However, Wilder's new trainer recently took to Instagram to dismiss those suggestions. Former heavyweight contender Malik Scott linked up with Wilder earlier this year - and the duo are now plotting their route back to the top of the heavyweight division.
In response to a tweet from talkSPORT's Michael Benson on the status of the third fight between Fury and Wilder, Scott could not have been any clearer about his fighter's intentions.
"Nah... Wilder declined and had no interest in step-aside money," wrote Scott. "Y’all dealing with a whole different type motherf**** over here.
"He want the blood, not that step-aside money. ‘Retribution is upon us.’"
Wilder was mauled by Fury in his last fight, being floored on several occasions en route to the first defeat of his professional career. It is understandable that he wants redemption, something no amount of money can buy him.
Fury's US promoter Bob Arum appears to have accepted that the long-awaited unification clash with Joshua will have to wait. On Tuesday, the 89-year-old told ESPN that he was pushing ahead with a July 24 date for Fury vs Wilder 3 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Arum also insisted that he had no intention of offering Wilder a financial incentive to walk away from the bout.
"It's better to get rid of him. We can make Fury vs AJ for November or December," reasoned Arum defiantly.
Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn now appears to be thinking along the same lines as Arum. The Matchroom Boxing boss suggested last night that he is now exploring the possibility of a bout between AJ and WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk for August.
Unless there is a major twist (and let's face it, there could be) it seems likely that boxing fans will have to wait a little while longer to find out who the best heavyweight on the planet is. Joshua vs Fury on August 14 looks to have collapsed at the final hurdle.News Now - Sport News