Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury claimed on Instagram that his self-imposed Monday 5:00 p.m. deadline in the United Kingdom passed without a signed contract returned by Anthony Joshua for a proposed December 3 fight in Cardiff, Wales, and that he has now wrapped up the deal. Table.

Fury made the announcement in a video posted to his Instagram story after the deadline, saying, “Well guys, it’s official. D-day has come and gone. It’s been 5 o’clock Monday. The contract has not been signed. “

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For weeks, Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) and Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) have been negotiating, but few in the boxing industry have said they believe the discussions will lead to a deal. After all, Joshua has survived two straight losses to Oleksandr Usyk, the last one last month.

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The public deadline for complex negotiations announced by Fury further raised confusion about the seriousness of the talks.

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“There have been some positive calls today between promoters and broadcasters who are hard at work finishing the fight,” promoter Joshua Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing told Sportzshala on Monday. “The parties haven’t talked about a timeline, but we’re moving at a pace to try and get a deal.”

The sides agreed to a 60-40 split in Fury’s favor a few weeks ago, but a few hurdles remain for a fight that is expected to generate nine figures. First, the network problem must be resolved. Fury is affiliated with Sportzshala in the US and BT Sport in the UK; Joshua from DAZN.

Perhaps the biggest issue of all was how seriously the sides took the battle. Fury was expected to take on Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight title after he called off retirement again and again. The Gypsy King insisted he had to fight until the end of the year, while Usyk said he was recovering from injuries and would not be available until spring.

Fury, who retained his WBC heavyweight title by knocking out Dillian Whyte in the sixth round in April, said on Instagram that he would fight minor contender Manuel Charr if Joshua didn’t sign by the deadline. Hearn said last week that he thought Fury was interested in fighting Charr all along (33-4, 19 KOs).

The fight against Charr, a 37 year old German fighter, makes a lot more sense. Theoretically, Fury could stay busy with an easy win while he waits for Usyk and the three belts the Ukrainian boxer is offering. The matchup between Fury and Charr could take place on Fury’s preferred date of December 3rd in the UK.

“Your contract is now 10 days old,” Fury, 34, said in an Instagram video directed at Joshua. “…Today is a drop dead date…I don’t extend until tomorrow. If they don’t sign, I won’t go until tomorrow.”

In his video after the deadline passed, Fury said, “It’s officially over for Joshua – now he’s the fool.”

Joshua, a 32-year-old Englishman, can look forward to a confidence-building victory in 2023 now that a fight that never seemed real seems dead.