Frank Warren has continued to defend his and Tyson Fury’s position on why several major fights have fallen by the wayside at the negotiating table.
So far in 2023, Fury has been in protracted, lengthy and ultimately failed negotiations with unified world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. The pair tentatively agreed to face each other on April 29th, with Fury ruling the roost in regard to controlling the state of play in negotiations.
WBC champion, Fury, offered Usyk a purse split of 30 per cent for a date at London’s Wembley Stadium before the pair failed to agree on terms regarding possible rematches and the purse split percentages.
A proposal was also sent to former two-time unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua but was rejected swiftly by Joshua and his respective handles Matchroom Boxing and 258 management. The rumoured date for the proposed bout was September 16th at Wembley Stadium, London.
Frank Warren also initiated tentative discussions to explore opportunities for Fury to face Andy Ruiz Jr and Zhilei Zhang. Zhang was ruled out by a contractually obligated rematch with Joe Joyce, who is seeking to return to his mandatory position within the WBO ratings. Ruiz Jr, meanwhile, was rumoured, according to Fury, to be seeking a purse totalling in the region of $ 20 million.
Fury, Warren and Top Rank ultimately decided to think outside of the box to ensure Fury returned to the ring. Last month it was announced that Fury will face former UFC world heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou in a boxing match on October 28th in Saudi Arabia. The WBC world heavyweight title will not be at stake; however, the contest does have the approval and blessing of the WBC and will not see Fury face any sanction or removal of his world title.
Warren has defended Fury by saying it’s his opponents who are the issue regarding Fury not being able to secure himself fights to defend his title and that Fury has also not received one proposal to face any of his divisional rivals.
“Tyson Fury is the only one of them who said he would do his fights in the UK whatever they generate; it’s the opposition that wouldn’t do the fights,” explained Warren. “We made offers, that’s a fact, but there’s not been one offer to Tyson Fury this year,” Warren told William Hill.
“He said to both of those guys (Joshua and Uysk) to fight in Wembley. We pencilled it in, had the first hold on the dates at Wembley three times, and we booked West Ham’s stadium to do the fight.”