Joshua has accepted terms to fight Fury in December (Picture: Getty)
Johnny Nelson is not confident Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua takes place before the end of the year, insisting both fighters will be to blame if no deal is struck.
Joshua has accepted Fury’s terms for a Battle of Britain set to take place on 3 December at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff with ‘The Gypsy King’s WBC heavyweight title on the line.
Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn, who promote Fury and Joshua respectively, have both spoken optimistically of a deal being struck but with no contracts signed, the clock is ticking with Warren suggesting on Wednesday the fight must be over the line by the end of the week.
Having seen the fight fall through in the past, former cruiserweight champion Nelson has serious concerns over the heavyweight showdown happening before the end of the year and believes hopes of it happening at all will disappear for good.
‘I’m not confident if I’m honest,’ Nelson told Metro.co.uk. ‘My feeling is, we have heard it from both fighters now, we have heard things from both camps. Tyson put the offer out there, we don’t know whether it was a bluff or not, and Anthony Joshua took it. They have agreed it.
‘Now there is a sense, especially from the AJ camp, that they are trying to price themselves out of the fight because they are agreeing to everything and they [Fury’s camp] then say oh we want this, we want that.
‘So it makes one think. Why are you doing that? The deal is getting done, you’ve gone public with it. I personally now think that the buck stops with the fighters. If this fight doesn’t happen because AJ disagrees with something now or if it doesn’t happen because Fury says he wants this instead, it lands on the fighters.
Joshua suffered a second consecutive defeat to Usyk in August (Picture: Getty)
‘For whatever reason this fight doesn’t go ahead, the ego of the fighters is going to be dented because people will now turn on them and say, ‘this is your fault’.
‘They can’t blame management, they can’t blame TV. If there was ever a chance of this fight happening, it has got to be now. If it doesn’t happen now, I’m never going to believe it will happen.’
With the boxing world waiting on the latest development in a saga that has dragged for over two years, Nelson believes a deal is possibly being held up by ‘petty’ matters that could be enough to sink the whole show.
Nelson sees similarities in the Khan vs Brook saga (Picture: Getty)
‘It could be petty stuff like ticket allocation, whose name is first, who is allowed to post what on social media. Petty stuff. And when it comes to that sort of stuff, these can be deal breakers,’ Nelson said.
‘In the grand scheme of things, they are both fighters and have to show respect to each other as fighters. But it is also about mental warfare, you have got to do everything possible to try and win a fight before you even get in the ring. But the buck still stops with the fighters. They have no one to hide behind. There is no one to blame this time.’
Earlier this year, fierce domestic rivals Amir Khan and Kell Brook finally met to settle a feud that has been over a decade in the making. Like Fury vs Joshua, talks for that fight persistently fell through over the years, looking doomed until it was finally concluded in February with Brook dominating his rival with a sixth round victory.
Nelson believes there are similarities between the often-sour negotiations that took place over the years between Khan and Brook and those taking place between the Fury and Joshua camps, insisting Joshua, like Brook, is just desperate to fight.
‘It is starting to remind me of Amir Khan vs Kell Brook. I thought that would never happen, Amir Khan was making every excuse possible and then would suddenly move the goalposts. And I know there were a lot of things they [Khan’s camp] were trying to squeeze out and Kell just kept saying, “No problem, you’ve got it, whatever you want.”
‘So there was no way out. The fight is done and I’m quite sure financially, Amir benefited massively because of the negotiations, Kell just wanted the fight and the public acknowledgement and success. And I think this is what is happening right now with Tyson and Joshua. I think AJ just wants to fight.’
Johnny Nelson has launched a new protein powder available from www.naturalsports.co.uk
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