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Anthony Joshua will not be locking horns inside the squared circle with Tyson Fury this summer due to an arbitration ruling that determined Deontay Wilder gets first dibs at the WBC titleholder. A stipulation in their previous contract deemed that a third meeting between the two would be there for the offing if either party wanted it. Wilder wants it and Fury agreed to it, much to the chagrin of the other champion holding the other three belts, Anthony Joshua.

“Tyson Fury’s third fight with Deontay Wilder is binding and even Fury’s own team seems to accept this,” said Joel Leigh, partner at law firm Howard Kennedy. “We know that technically, under terms of contract, Fury vs Wilder III needed to be activated within a specific time period, and it wasn’t because of Covid. The judge however has essentially concluded that the effect of all of this had been to extend the period within which the right to that fight could be activated.”

In legal terms, this has all the markings of a force majeure, a contract unable to be performed because of forces outside of their control, an act of God, like a plague of locusts, lightning from the skies, or a global pandemic. Thus, even though the third fight was supposed to have taken place sometime in August of 2020 in Saudi Arabia, the pandemic made that event impossible. But now the trilogy will reportedly be complete on July 24th of this year in Sin City at either the T-Mobile Arena or, more likely, the home of the Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium.

The early odds at some of the top online sportsbooks are already out on this WBC showdown and if you would like to check out one of the very best, we suggest you read this Bovada review and see what people are saying about their customer service, mobile platform, betting options and limits, as well as the most important factor of all – timely payouts. The early odds are showing Fury as a -280/+220 favorite.

After the first Wilder/Fury meeting resulted in a draw, the two got back at it in February of 2020, right before COVID-19 shut down the world. On that night, Tyson Fury was clearly the better man, scoring a seventh-round TKO and wresting the belt from a bloodied and battered Deontay Wilder.

Reports are that Wilder could have made as much as $20 million to step aside and allow Fury and Anthony Joshua to renew unpleasantries inside the ring instead of on social media. But that didn’t sit right with Wilder or his new trainer, Malik Scott, who said, “He wants blood and not step-aside money. Retribution is upon us.”

What Next for AJ?

Now that Anthony Joshua is the odd man out in the Tyson Fury Sweepstakes, his next opponent could be an intriguing matchup for the 31-year-old Brit. Oleksandr Usyk is certainly not a household name but if you are a fan of boxing then you recognize the 34-year-old Ukrainian as the former universal cruiserweight champion. He is only the fourth male fighter to hold the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO titles simultaneously and gave them up for a shot at climbing to the heavyweight division where more fame and much more money await.

As for whether his natural size or lack thereof, will hinder him when boxing the biggest, most powerful men on the planet, Usyk had this to say, "If the king of animals would be considered according to the size, then it would be the elephant, not the lion."

As a cruiserweight, Usyk was unstoppable and undefeated, piling up 15 consecutive wins with 12 coming by way of knockout. It was more of the same in his first bout at the heavyweight division when Chazz Witherspoon, second cousin of former heavyweight champ, Tim Witherspoon, retired in his corner in the seventh round.

However, things got a bit more interesting when he took on the well-traveled, Derek Chisora, and hammered out a unanimous decision. After the fight, Chisora was asked whether Usyk would have a chance against the division’s best.

"No, because in the heavyweight game, you have to fight, not box," Chisora said.

"Half of the time, I'm setting the pace, he's not setting the pace.

"I gave a couple of rounds away, 100 percent, and he caught me with some good shots. But not with like painful shots."

And one has to wonder how the Ukrainian sensation will stand up to Anthony Joshua after only a few forays in the heavyweight category against aging fighters, Witherspoon and Chisora, who were well past their respective primes at ages 39 and 37, respectively.

Anthony Joshua also questioned his potential rival’s long tenure as an amateur.

"I was amateur for two-and-a-half years so was still adapting to different styles," Joshua said.

"Usyk was amateur for a long time so he has taken the 'hit and don't get hit' style into the pros.

"The good thing that helped me? Sometimes I know to sit down on my feet and hurt someone.

"You've got to let them know that you're there because all that pitty-patty stuff after 12 rounds? Sometimes people don't respect that type of power."

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