Tyson Fury is targeting a world title unification showdown with Oleksandr Usyk in February but will seek an all-British battle with Joe Joyce if that cannot be made.
The reigning WBC heavyweight champion returns to the ring on Saturday, December 3 for a trilogy fight against Derek Chisora, having reversed his decision to retire in the wake successfully defending the belt with a sixth-round stoppage of Dillian Whyte in April.
Fury still has his sights set on a clash with Usyk, who retained the WBA, WBO and IBF versions of the title after a successful rematch with Anthony Joshua in August and was initially slated as a possible opponent for the ‘Gypsy King’ next month before February emerged as a more likely date.
Assuming he makes it three wins from three against Chisora following victories in 2011 and 2014, the unbeaten 34-year-old still has Usyk as his top target. Yet the prospect of facing fellow unbeaten British boxer Joyce, now 15-0 (14) after stopping Joseph Parker to claim the interim WBO crown, at Wembley is on the cards too.
“Usyk is top of the shopping list – provided I get through this one, and if not a rematch with Chisora for the fourth time,” Fury told Queensberry Promotions’ YouTube channel.
“If Usyk don’t want no smoke in February, let’s do Joyce at Wembley. Joe, get your skates on, get fit, because if the middleweight don’t want no smoke you’re in. I’m fighting three times next year and you could be one of them.
“[Joyce], in my opinion, is the No 2-ranked heavyweight in the world behind myself – maybe No 3 because I don’t think anybody in the world can take Deontay Wilder’s power, only myself.”
The clash with Chisora, who snapped a three-fight losing streak by claiming a split-decision win over Kubrat Pulev in July, will be only Fury’s second bout since concluding his trilogy against Wilder with an 11th-round stoppage of the hard-punching American in October 2021.
Fury is determined to be more active in 2023 though, relaying his intention to have three fights next year to promoter Frank Warren.
“It’s very important to me because I’ve been training since Boxing Day last year for a busy year and I’ve only had one fight,” Fury said.
“I know I retired and was waiting for a bit, but I’m back now and I wanted to fight desperately because going into next year I want to be ready because I want a minimum of three fights next year.
“I’ve told Frank; [I want to be] a nice, active heavyweight champion – no messing around, no retiring, no long stints out of the ring.
“Straight into it, three fights next year. Get this man [Chisora] out of the way first and then we’ll fight three fights next year.”