February 26, 2020 / 7:24 AM / 3 months ago

Fury promoter wants Joshua next instead of Wilder rematch

FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Anthony Joshua poses with the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight belts after winning his title fight against Andy Ruiz Jr - Al Faisaliah Tower, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - December 8, 2019 Anthony Joshua poses with the belts Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren wants the new WBC heavyweight champion to fight fellow Brit Anthony Joshua next in a world title unification bout but says Deontay Wilder will first have to be persuaded to forgo an immediate rematch.

Fury claimed the WBC title in Las Vegas on Saturday with a seventh-round stoppage of Wilder, who fought the Briton to a split-decision draw in their first meeting in December 2018.

Wilder told The Athletic this week that he would exercise his option of a third fight but Warren said he does not want to delay a mouth-watering match-up with Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts.

“I prefer to go straight to Joshua but that’s the contract,” Warren told the BBC. “If he insists on the fight, we’re locked into it.

“It has to be honoured unless we reach some accommodation for him to step aside. We could pay him to step aside if he wants to do that, but that’s his choice.

“It would be lucrative for him, but I have spoken to his manager and Deontay does believe he has the beating of Tyson, and he can knock him out,” added Warren.

“I don’t believe that. I fancied Tyson to stop him before the fight at the weekend.”

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had said a fight with Fury “will happen” and could be the biggest in the history of the sport.

Joshua is set to face mandatory IBF challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria next with talks ongoing for a bout in June.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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