Frank Warren has admitted that the coronavirus will dictate where a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua takes place and will question whether it will be in the UK.
Everyone had been hoping that we could finally see the British heavyweight battle between AJ and Fury this summer, but plans were dashed when the ‘Gypsy Kings’ were forced to face Deontay Wilder.
It was supposed to happen this month, until Fury tested positive for the coronavirus and was postponed until October.
Joshua is due to face Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
All hope of that happening in 2021 is gone, and the earliest we can realistically hope for is the start of 2022.
It seemed likely Saudi Arabia would host the fight, but Warren, who co-promotes Fury, said there are many factors that will dictate where it takes place – whether the two fighters are successful in their next bouts.
He told talkSPORT: “No one can predict what will happen with COVID. You think about what has happened in the last few days, we had a situation where the numbers are increasing.
“We’re going into winter, unless you go to Cardiff and put the roof up, there’s no other stadium you can fight in winter.
“They anticipate that COVID is going to be strong this winter,” they say.
“It keeps changing and evolving, half of Australia just shut down. Israel, which everyone was looking at and saying ‘look how they are doing’, has had massive cases there again.
“It’s happening everywhere. Ultimately what has to happen is we have to go with the flow and enjoy what happens when the two guys fight.
“Hopefully by the time the guys fight the COVID thing is beaten and we’re in a much safer place and we can see what our options are.
“First, guys have to win their fights, Joe (Joyce) has to win his fight. Everyone must win their fight.
“Anything can happen with these greats. One punch, bang, and it’s over. I saw it happen.
Joyce fights Carlos Takam this weekend and is the mandatory WBO challenger, which means he will be in contention to fight AJ’s winner against Usyk.
Warren said we’ll see AJ vs Fury first, but said the 35-year-old is well positioned for a title fight.
He added, “That means immediately after this fight Joe will be the proxy. When this obligation is due, the winner will have to fight it.
“If AJ passes, we want to see AJ vs Tyson fight, provided Tyson passes, which I hope and believe he will.
“It takes a little patience, but he’s in a very good position. We worked really hard to get him there.
“He can’t skid on Saturday, he can’t afford it. “