Tyson Fury rejected Deontay Wilder trilogy in January or February to fight THIS YEAR and prepare for Anthony Joshua bout

TYSON FURY rejected the chance to fight Deontay Wilder in early 2021 to instead return this year and focus on facing Anthony Joshua.

The Gypsy King was contracted to a trilogy bout against Wilder, having dethroned the American in February.

But the coronavirus pandemic has driven paying fans away from the sport and as a result delayed the immediate rematch, which was set for December.

With Fury having already verbally agreed a double header against Joshua for 2021, he rejected the chance to face Wilder in January or February.

It instead allows him to prepare for the potential undisputed title decider by arranging a winter warm-up fight in the UK.

Fury's US promoter Bob Arum said: “We lost December 19th, the networks suggested the end of January or the end of February.

"They gave us two dates. And Fury said, ‘No. I wanna fight this year. And then I’m going on and fighting Joshua.’

"And under his contract, he had every right to do that. There’s not even a question.

"He didn’t even have to wait till December 19th, which was the original date, because the contract ran out in October."

With Wilder's right to an immediate rematch said to be expired, Arum warned Fury has no legal obligation to fulfil a third fight with the 34-year-old.

He said: “There’s definitely no legal recourse for them.Are they gonna complain? Sure.

"You’ve gotta understand, the reason there was this very certain window for the rematch, that some people might say was a small window, is that it was negotiated by both sides.

"And as I recall it, they thought they were gonna win, so they wanted as small a window as possible to get rid of the third fight, so they would go on and not be burdened.

"So, it wasn’t like we insisted that the window be very small to do the third fight, because we didn’t know we were gonna win the fight.”

If the WBC grants Fury permission to defend his belt against another challenger, he could do so the same month as Joshua.

Unified champion AJ, 30, faces Bulgarian mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, 39, in December.

And Frank Warren has lined up Fury, 32,for a homecoming, which will be the unbeaten heavyweight's first fight on home soil since August 2018.

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