Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury: When can fight be expected?

Riath Al-Samarrai for MailOnline

Tyson Fury is calling out Anthony Joshua and Anthony Joshua is calling out Tyson Fury. It might just be the fight that eclipses last weekend’s Wembley blockbuster. If it happens…

And that is a big if, because nothing can be taken for granted with Fury, given he is currently without a licence and awaiting a doping hearing.

But the former unified heavyweight champion is back in training and making some noise. Here, Sportsmail offers an update on the possibility of a fight between Britain’s most controversial fighter and its biggest star.

Tyson Fury has called out Anthony Joshua on social media in a bid to forge a heavyweight clash

Tyson Fury has called out Anthony Joshua on social media in a bid to forge a heavyweight clash

Tyson Fury has called out Anthony Joshua on social media in a bid to forge a heavyweight clash

Fury poses Billy Joe Saunders in one of his latest Instagram posts after calling out Joshua 

Fury poses Billy Joe Saunders in one of his latest Instagram posts after calling out Joshua 

Fury poses Billy Joe Saunders in one of his latest Instagram posts after calling out Joshua 

The 28-year-old has been posting regular updates on his Instagram to keep fans in the loop

The 28-year-old has been posting regular updates on his Instagram to keep fans in the loop

The 28-year-old has been posting regular updates on his Instagram to keep fans in the loop

What is the latest with Tyson Fury?

It is actually quite positive in the sense that he appears serious about making comeback after 18 months out of the ring. At the back end of last year there were genuine questions over whether he would fight again, so it is encouraging to see him training.

Fury has been out of the ring for 18 months ever since he defeated Klitschko in Dusselforf

Fury has been out of the ring for 18 months ever since he defeated Klitschko in Dusselforf

Fury has been out of the ring for 18 months ever since he defeated Klitschko in Dusselforf

What are the obstacles to his comeback?

Take your pick: he currently doesn’t have a British Boxing Board of Control licence, he is awaiting his hearing from UK Anti-Doping and he is vastly out of condition.

When is the hearing?

It is understood to be on May 8. Fury and his cousin Hughie, who last month cited injury in pulling out of a WBO heavyweight world title fight with Joseph Parker, were provisionally suspended on June 24, 2016 after failing tests by UK Anti-Doping. 

The ban was lifted in August ahead of the National Anti-Doping Panel hearing that is expected to take place on May 8. 

The Furys deny using drugs to boost performance and Sportsmail reported last week that their legal team is set to argue that they failed drugs tests after eating vast amounts of contaminated offal. 

Fury was provisionally suspended on June 24, 2016 after failing tests by UK Anti-Doping

Fury was provisionally suspended on June 24, 2016 after failing tests by UK Anti-Doping

Fury was provisionally suspended on June 24, 2016 after failing tests by UK Anti-Doping

What happens then?

It depends on how the hearing goes. Fury had his licence suspended by the BBBoC last October, owing to his ‘anti-doping and medical issues’, with concerns about his severe battles with depression and his separate admissions of taking recreational drugs. The next step to getting his career on track is reliant on the forthcoming hearing.

If those major legal hurdles get cleared, will he fight Joshua?

It’s the fight they have both stated they want. But Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn was fairly firm in explaining why it won’t be next. He went as far as to say Fury is ‘miles away’ from fighting.

‘We are desperate for that fight because AJ thinks he wins comfortably, it is a great fight and it is the biggest fight out there,’ Hearn told talkSPORT. 

‘But we can only concentrate on AJ’s career and guiding him. 

‘He (Fury) is miles away from fighting. He is in a terrible physical way at the moment. He doesn’t have a licence, he needs to go back to the (British Boxing) board, and he is under investigation for (an alleged) failed (doping) test. 

‘There is no one that wants to see him back more than me, but it is miles away. He is not the next fight because he won’t be ready in time.’

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has explained that his next fight will not be against Fury

Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn has explained that his next fight will not be against Fury

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has explained that his next fight will not be against Fury

What would Fury’s chances be if that fight happened?

Some of the reaction to the possibility of a Fury-Joshua fight in the past few days has been staggering in its naivety. Joshua is an incredible fighter with precious few weaknesses and deserves all the credit he gets for what he did against Wladimir Klitschko. 

But amid the bluster and nonsense that Fury often spouts on social media, he was right to point out at the weekend that Joshua had a ‘life-or-death’ fight with Klitschko at Wembley, while he toyed with him in Germany in 2015. 

The disparity in the reaction to the two wins is huge. It must not be forgot that Fury went to Klitschko’s backyard and comprehensively beat him, reducing a great champion to a confused, gun-shy wreck. 

Joshua is the IBF, IBO and WBA title holder after knocking out  Klitschko at Wembley

Joshua is the IBF, IBO and WBA title holder after knocking out  Klitschko at Wembley

Joshua is the IBF, IBO and WBA title holder after knocking out Klitschko at Wembley

The fact remains that Fury is the linear champion of the heavyweight division – the man who beat the man who beat the man etc. 

If he somehow gets into shape, gets his hunger back and clears his name, then he would be an immensely tricky proposition. 

It would be fascinating to see if Joshua has the ring craft to get around such a uniquely awkward opponent. Fury might seem appalling on a number of levels, but it cannot be denied that he is an extremely effective heavyweight boxer. 

The fact remains that Fury is the linear champion of the heavyweight division in boxing

The fact remains that Fury is the linear champion of the heavyweight division in boxing

The fact remains that Fury is the linear champion of the heavyweight division in boxing

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