Hopes of a fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in 2021 could be in jeopardy as Deontay Wilder continues to stake his claim for a trilogy bout against the Gyspy King.
The Bronze Bomber, who lost his WBC title to Fury last February, insists he is contractually owed a third fight against the Brit.
Meanwhile, Fury’s camp believe the rematch clause has expired following the delay to their planned fight which came about due to the coronavirus crisis.
The American’s team have initiated the dispute resolution provision within the fight contract, which forced both parties into a mediation process overseen by a retired judge.
After Joshua retained his IBF, WBO and WBA titles against Kubrat Pulev last month, the path seemed clear for a unification bout with Fury to crown and undisputed heavyweight king.
However, Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel insists the saga involving Fury and his client is not over yet, meaning the Gypsy King could still be forced to fight the Bronze Bomber before taking on AJ.
Finkel told World Boxing News: “The mediation between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury has not yet ended.”
Should a resolution not be found in mediation, the next step is binding arbitration in which the mediator will make a ruling and settle the dispute once and for all.
Heavyweight Kevin Johnson, who has fought both Fury and Joshua, told talkSPORT 2 last month that there is no way the Gypsy King can avoid a third fight against Wilder.
“It will be Fury vs Wilder, 100 per cent,” Johnson said. “If people know the logistics, contracts and promotional side, Fury can’t fight anybody until he fights Wilder.
“That’s a legitimate contract. Fury can try and try and try, but his team is smart and they’re not going to risk a massive lawsuit, or him getting stripped of all the titles.
“So it will be Fury vs Wilder 3, that’s black and white, we can’t change that.”