Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren insists a stunning unification fight against British rival Anthony Joshua ‘has to happen’ this year.
Fury battered American fighter Deontay Wilder to a seventh-round stoppage in Las Vegas last month to become world champion for the second time in his career.
While Fury, 31, now holds the WBC belt, the other four world heavyweight titles belong to Joshua.
AJ suffered a shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr. last summer but reclaimed his belts by beating the 30-year-old in Saudi Arabia before Christmas.
Joshua’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn, has talked up the chances of AJ fighting Fury in 2020 and Warren says it ‘has to happen’.
He told BT Boxing: ‘It’s got to happen and it’s got to happen this year. To get that fight on, everybody involved has got to sit around a table and get it hammered out.
‘It will happen providing Kubrat Pulev doesn’t knock out or stop Joshua. You make AJ favourite [against Pulev] but in his last few fights he’s been caught.
‘Everyone fighting him now knows what they need to do to win.’
Asked whether he was confident Fury would fight Joshua before the end of 2020, Warren responded: ‘Of course I’m optimistic, providing everyone keeps winning.
‘But it will only get done if everyone sits down and makes it happen. Those two fighting will be the biggest sporting ever this country has seen since England won the World Cup.
‘I’d like to see it be held in the UK, but it depends on the money. Fury is the best heavyweight of his generation. Never lost a fight. He’s the number one.’
While Joshua is fighting 38-year-old Bulgarian Pulev in June, Fury will face Wilder for the third time a month later after the American invoked his right to a rematch.
Warren said: ‘He has invoked it. The date isn’t set yet but he has invoked it. If it’s got to be it’s got to be.
‘That’s the contract that we signed so we need to respect that. I think Tyson has his number, unless Deontay pulls something special out the bag.
‘He’s made some stupid excuses. The bottom line is Tyson beat him on merit and the best man won on the night.
‘I think Tyson has his number and has the number over every heavyweight out there at the moment.
‘One punch can change the whole dynamic of a fight. And he did catch Tyson a few times, but he took them.
‘This was two fighters at the top of their game. For me it’s the best-ever performance from a British fighter. He destroyed him.’
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