Promoter Lou DiBella has accused Anthony Joshua of boxing “paying off” when he next fights Tyson Fury.
Joshua’s 258-year-old management team confirmed last week that he had “accepted all terms” to face Fury on December 3 after being offered the fight despite losing his last two fights to Oleksandr Usyk.
DiBella believes Joshua has nothing to be ashamed of after losing again to Usyk last month, but he believes Fury’s relatively short-term acquisition after back-to-back losses suggests the Olympic gold medalist is more interested in the money than himself to give the best chance of winning.
“Joshua didn’t fight badly against Usyk. He fought better than he fought [the first time]he just lost to a better boxer,” Dibella said seconds off.
“If he wanted to win the fight and fight Fury, is it so outrageous that he lost the fight and he’s going to fight Fury? no
“But coming out of this fight, two losses in a row, rushing to the end of the year, fighting Fury on Fury’s schedule when you haven’t had the easiest stretch and haven’t won a fight in a while… it almost strikes me as one payment before.
‘Like, you know, ‘Hey, this might be my last chance to even do this fight.’
DiBella acknowledges that Joshua’s fight against Fury remains the biggest fight that can be fought in Britain, but he has admitted he would prefer the duo to face other opponents.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of money in this fight in the UK. I’m sure it’s a fight that will surpass boxing in the UK. So, I take it as a business proposition.
“I think there’s none of the monstrosity of Fury and Joshua in the UK and maybe everyone involved just wants to grab the money when there’s still a chance, right? There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the fight I want to see the most.
DiBella could be hinting that he would instead prefer to see Fury vs. Usyk in an undisputed matchup with all the heavyweight titles on the line.
It seemed the most logical clash after Usyk beat Joshua in Saudi Arabia, but the Ukrainian has since confirmed he doesn’t want to fight again in 2022 so he can rest his body and spend time with his family. Fury has also previously claimed he would want £500m to get in the ring with Usyk.
As a result, Fury now looks ready for a national showdown with Joshua, while Usyk revealed he would love to take on Deontay Wilder, whom DiBella previously promoted, in his next fight if the American beats Robert Helenius next month.