In this week’s Fight Talk we look at Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua’s chance meeting in Spain, Mike Tyson rejects a $20m offer for a bare-knuckle fight, promoter Eddie Hearn says he wants to control boxing, rapper Tinie Tempah joins Dillian Whyte in his Portuguese training camp and Oleksandr Usyk has a message for opponent Dereck Chisora.
Fury and Joshua meet in Marbella
Newsflash: Two British men bump into each other while on holiday in Spain and have a little chat.
What’s the big deal, you ask? Well, these two men hold all of the belts in the heavyweight division.
WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua posted a picture on Instagram of his chance meeting with WBC title-holder Tyson Fury in Marbella, with the caption “Sweeeeeeeeeeeet Caroline!! Ohhhh ohhh ohhhhh” – a reference to the Neil Diamond song which has become the unofficial anthem of British boxing.
Fury reposted Joshua’s picture and added the words: “2021, it’s going off.”
Last month it was announced that Fury and Joshua had agreed financial terms for a two-fight deal for next year in what will be the biggest all-British bouts of all time.
However, as many fight fans will know, there are several hurdles still to overcome.
Television rights, promoter rivalries, mandatory challengers and all-round boxing politics could get in the way of this fight happening. Joshua also has to first beat Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in his next outing while Fury is set for the final fight of his trilogy with American Deontay Wilder.
But if you put all that aside for a second, there is some significance to Fury and Joshua meeting face-to-face; it shows a genuine desire from both boxers to make a fight of this magnitude happen.
Think back to when Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao crossed paths at an NBA game in January 2015.
A video of the two exchanging phone numbers went viral and just four months later (and after years of failed negotiations) the two finally got it on in the richest fight ever.
Fans of both Fury and Joshua, and also the neutrals, were excited by their Marbella meet…
Other fans questioned how genuine the picture was but Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has dismissed suggestions that it was a set-up.
Hearn told Talksport: “AJ said he was walking down the road and Fury drove up and opened the window and was like, ‘All right?’
“I think he said to AJ, ‘Make sure you beat Kubrat Pulev.’ And AJ said, ‘Make sure you beat Deontay Wilder.’
“And they both said, ‘I will, and I’ll see you next year.'”
Away from their meeting, both Fury and Joshua also showed their softer sides this past week.
AJ was busy charming an 87-year-old fan…
…While ‘The Gypsy King’ was being eaten by two dinosaurs…
Mike Tyson rejects bare-knuckle offer
Former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson’s planned comeback at the age of 54 has been one the biggest boxing stories this year.
‘Iron Mike’ has said he is planning to return in an exhibition bout with former foe Evander Holyfield linked as a potential opponent.
And according to Ring Magazine, Tyson has now rejected a $20m (£15.8m) offer from the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) to fight under their rules.
He was once known ‘the baddest man on the planet.’ Now well into his 50s, it can only be a good thing for both him and other BKFC fighters that he won’t be throwing or taking blows without gloves.
‘I want to control boxing’ – Eddie Hearn
Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has his critics but you can’t question his ambition.
With several governing bodies and multiple belts in each division, Hearn told IFL TV that his aim is to completely takeover the sport.
“The drive for me now is to control boxing. To control the sport globally and have a single entity running boxing like the UFC,” he said.
“If you want bet against me, you will see. I am the man for the job, I’m the only one that can do it.”
As always, Hearn’s comments sparked a reaction from boxing fans…
‘From Miami 2 Ibiza’ … via Portugal?
We’ve had YouTubers turning to boxing, could we now see one of Britain’s top rappers do the same?
Londoner Tinie Tempah was put through his paces last week as he joined British heavyweight Dillian Whyte – who will take on Russian Alexander Povetkin on 22 August – at his training camp out in Portugal…
Oleksandr Usyk’s message for Dereck Chisora
And sticking with the heavyweights, we’ll leave you with what has to be the funniest boxing video of the week.
He speaks very little English but Oleksandr Usyk’s antics make him a Fight Talk regular. Here is the Ukrainian running along a beach while repeatedly saying the name of his next opponent, Briton Dereck Chisora.
It’s weird and wonderful in equal measure…