Tyson Fury has become a bigger attraction than his domestic heavyweight rival Anthony Joshua, according to promoter Frank Warren.
Warren, who promotes Fury, also confirmed a future fight with Joshua could be shown on both Sky Sports and BT Sport Box Office in an attempt to make the fight easier to negotiate with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn.
The self-title ‘Gypsie King’ may face Deontay Wilder in a rematch in the next three months after their WBC title fight ended in a controversial draw in December. Fury was twice knocked down, including a brutal blow in the final round, in the Los Angeles fight and drew with the hard-hitting American despite many viewers feeling he deserved to win the fight.
December’s bout was his first title fight since beating Vladimir Klitschko in November 2015, a victory that was followed a spiral into depression that led to Fury wanting to take his own life. Fury accepted a backdated two-year doping ban and also received criticism for sexist and homophobic views.
Warren now believes that his man holds more appeal than the IBF, WBA and WBO champion. “He’s the people’s champion,” Warren told BBC Sport. “I think he’s now a bigger attraction than Anthony Joshua.
“There’s no corporate element with him,” added Warren, seemingly aiming a dig at Joshua. “You don’t have to go through 100 people. You just pick the phone up. He walks down the street and he hasn’t got an entourage of minders,” said Warren.
“Whoever he fights next, if Tyson Fury fights in this country, it is going to be a sell-out, wherever he fights.
Joshua has Wembley booked for a fight in April and Wilder his preferred opponent, although the American is open to a rematch with Fury first.
“At the moment I’m talking with Shelly Finkel, who looks after Wilder, and we are trying to get the rematch together,” said Warren, who added that Joshua is “vulnerable” and “flawed”.
“Tyson only wants big fights,” he added. “There’s only two big fights out there – that’s Wilder, and that’s Joshua. Joshua doesn’t even want to fight him because I think he knows he’ll get beat.”
Warren says a possible fight between Joshua and Fury will take place in the UK and could be shown on both Sky Sports and BT Sport in an attempt to please Warren’s promoter rival, Hearn, who oversees Joshua’s events.