Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

‘Rattlesnakes in the grass’: Tyson Fury reveals ‘stressful’ negotiations over Anthony Joshua step-aside deal

Fury is set to fight Dillian Whyte while Joshua is expected to face Oleksandr Usyk again – though things could have played out very differently

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 11 February 2022 12:17 GMT
Tyson Fury hits out at heavyweight rival 'cowards'

Tyson Fury has hit out at Anthony Joshua and his team for being “rattlesnakes” and “idiots” during negotiations over a potential step-aside deal last month.

WBC champion Fury has been ordered to defend his title against mandatory challenger and interim title holder Dillian Whyte, with the Britons expected to go head-to-head in April.

Meanwhile, Joshua has triggered a rematch clause to face Oleksandr Usyk again – likely this spring – after losing his heavyweight belts to the undefeated Ukrainian in September.

A step-aside deal was recently proposed, however, which would have seen Fury fight Usyk in a unification bout. Joshua’s monetary demands reportedly saw negotiations collapse, and Fury has revealed the “stress” involved in the talks.

Speaking at a press conference around his new energy drink Furocity, which launches on Wednesday 16 February, Fury said on Friday: “Let’s just say that didn’t happen because one of the parties came back on the final day and said: ‘I want X amount of millions more, or else I’m not doing it.’

“Then [I] said, stick the X amount of millions up your rear end. It was very complicated and very stressful for me to deal with these idiots.

“I don’t like all the snaky behaviour; they’re like rattlesnakes in the grass, they say one thing and mean another. I’m like a dog; if I’m barking at you and growling, I’m probably gonna bite you, but if I’m wagging my tail, you know I won’t. These are like reptiles.”

Fury is expected to fight compatriot Whyte in the UK in April, though he remained tight-lipped about an exact date and venue.

“I’ve not been told about the venue or an accurate date yet, I think that news is to follow soon,” the 33-year-old said.

“I think [promoters] Frank [Warren] and Bob [Arum] are working hard behind the scenes to get a massive venue nailed down.

“I’m happy to be home and to put on a show for everybody. I believe it’ll be the biggest sporting event in boxing that this country’s ever seen. It’s definitely gonna be in the UK. That’s for sure, there’s no ‘assuming’ about it.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in