Anthony Joshua has told Tyson Fury that he 'needs' him after the failure to make an undisputed fight against Oleksandr Usyk for April 29.
The negotiations fell through, with Fury changing the terms to remove a rematch clause after Usyk had agreed to the 70:30 purse split. This shift ended negotiations, with Usyk's camp branding Fury as being 'greedy' following th breakdown in talks and now both fighters will seek new opponents.
The way talks failed to progress have parallels with the manner in which Fury's proposed fight with Joshua could not be made, with Fury setting a swift deadline which was not met by Joshua's team. This led to Joshua taking a break from action and will now return this weekend against Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena.
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The chaos could play into Joshua's hands, with the former two-time heavyweight world champion expected to beat Franklin before moving onto title shots within his next few contests. The chaos unfolding around Fury at present could lend itself to Joshua having a resurgence among British fans, starting this weekend.
The Londoner will fight in front of a home crowd against Franklin, who lost his unbeaten record to Dillian Whyte at the same venue in November. Before the contest, Joshua has spoken about Fury, saying that the Manchester born WBC champion is dependent on Joshua.
Asked about the prospects of the current situation lending itself to a fight between the British heavyweight rivals, Joshua suggested he might be keen on a deal. He explained: “I think now there’s no better time. I think he needs me at the minute.”
It has been a long-time coming for the pair, who are just a year apart in age, with both having held world championship belts at various times in the past seven years. However, with no fight having been made despite years of attempts, could the next 18 months provide the perfect opportunity?
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