Tyson Fury's father John casts fresh doubt over Anthony Joshua unification fight
The long period of uncertainty surrounding the exact date and venue of the agreed heavyweight unification megafight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury continues to show no signs of letting up, as the WBC champion's father John Fury has claimed the bout is still not close to being sealed.
Joshua and Fury agreed to the showdown in principle last year, then had to wait out much of the COVID-19 pandemic and some mandatory challenger issues before eventually signing a two-fight agreement, according to their promoters, including Joshua's backer Eddie Hearn.
However, as forecast by Hearn at the start of the year, the announcement seems to be coming in two parts. And after news of the terms being formally agreed, we now need a confirmed date and venue that will satisfy the financial requirements of all involved.
The senior Fury did not seem at all impressed by the elongated process in an interview with BT Sport (transcribed by Boxing Scene) over the weekend, however.
Referring to the fact his son hasn't fought in 14 months, he said: "We need to get him out, whether these cowboys get the job sorted which I don't think they're going to do.
"What have they signed? They've signed nothing in my eyes. They've got no date, no venue, no nothing. What does it mean if you can't get a date and a venue? What does it mean if no one is willing to put the money up?
"It's all about someone coming forward and saying, 'Right, I'll pay for the fight, I'll stage the fight.' Where are these people? That's the position it's in and I don't think they can get it together. It's too big for what's happening and the climate the world is in at the moment. I just don't think the timing is right for a fight of that magnitude with the state of the world.
"Tyson needs to fight twice this year, with or without AJ. Tyson is not bothered by any heavyweight on the planet - he's passed being bothered by this man or that man. It's a business for Tyson and we need to move on, get a living properly, sharpen his tools and keep him sharp in case that big night comes knocking. But I think they're dragging their heels a bit because they don't want to and I don't blame them."