Tyson Fury returns to action on Saturday night, rounding off 2022 with his second UK stadium extravaganza of the year.
The Gypsy King’s dominant sixth-round stoppage of Dillian Whyte served as a celebratory homecoming at Wembley after his exploits against Deontay Wilder in the United States.
Another trilogy fight, against old foe Derek Chisora, is the order of the day at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. On the face of it, there is little jeopardy, with Fury having already beaten Chisora with relative ease in their first two meetings.
But now his flirtation with retirement is apparently over, fans will hope Fury enters into some blockbuster contests in 2023. Take your pick from the list below.
MORE: Tyson Fury explains why memorable Deontay Wilder trilogy fight ranks highest as ‘My Sweetest Victory’
Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk
The fight everyone wants to see. Fury is unlikely to come up against any other opponent who can match and surpass him for speed and skills. On the other hand, could the masterful Usyk cope with someone boasting a considerable size advantage and the canny know-how to use that to his advantage? Anthony Joshua did not tick the latter box in his two points defeats to Usyk that changed the centre of gravity in the heavyweight division.
IBF, WBA and WBO champion Usyk decided he wanted the rest of the year off after his exertions against Joshua. This and his diminutive stature have led to Fury speaking in almost exclusively disparaging terms about the pound-for-pound Ukrainian star. The IBF belt might not be on the line if they do meet, given Usyk has been ordered to face his mandatory Filip Hrgovic or face being stripped. The governing body’s over-zealous approach to its rules means Fury does not wish to pay their sanctioning fees after they took a belt off him in quick time after this 2015 win over Wladimir Klitschko.
The Gypsy King clearly doesn’t think so. pic.twitter.com/g5Jus4p7xy
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) December 1, 2022
Whatever belts are on the line, Fury vs. Usyk is definitely the biggest fight in boxing. Well, unless it’s this one…
Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua
Part of the disappointment expressed over Fury’s decision to box Chisora again was related to who he wasn’t facing. Talks between Fury and long-time rival Joshua had progressed to the extent a purse split between the fighters was agreed for a December 3 showdown. However, Fury’s very public approach to negotiations via social media soon came to appear problematic and the mooted showdown collapsed after Joshua did not meet a succession of deadlines to sign paperwork declared by the Gypsy King independent of his promoters or management.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn insists the positive steps taken during the latest round of talks with Fury’s camp can be harnessed down the road. Despite some of the shine coming off Joshua over the course of his three career defeats, this one still fills Wembley in a heartbeat. AJ looks set to start working with a new training team as he embarks upon a 2023 rebuild, meaning a date later in the year feels more likely. But if he was willing to face Fury this weekend, that surely remains the case for spring/early summer next year in the UK?
— Sporting News Boxing (@sn_fights) November 26, 2022
Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 4
The argument that no one wants to see Fury face a boxer he has been clearly better than three times already isn’t one he can make with a straight face any longer. Wilder put him down four times over the course of their trilogy, which is four more times that Chisora has managed. Sure, Fury would enter this one as a clear favourite but Wilder’s freakish punch power means there will always be exhilarating tension when they share the ring.
The Bronze Bomber might point to the fact that Juan Manuel Marquez did not get the win in any of his first three fights with Manny Pacquiao (somewhat controversially) before rendering his rival unconscious the fourth time around. Wilder’s first-round KO of Robert Helenius has lined up an eliminator against Andy Ruiz Jr for a shot at Fury’s WBC title and the champion has already had his say.
Tyson Fury vs. Andy Ruiz Jr
Ruiz has only boxed twice since losing his rematch to Joshua at the end of 2019, claiming creditable wins over Chris Arreola and Luis Ortiz. Fury hopes the Mexican-American gets the job done against Wilder. “I would like to see Andy Ruiz knock his m**********g ass out,” he told Boxing Social. “Because I’m sick of looking at Deontay Wilder. I need another man to train for. I need another guy to fight. We fought three times already. I think the guy’s a piece of s*** as a person.
“I don’t like him. He’s an excuse-maker. He gets beat by a better man on the night, and he can’t take it. So, he’s gotta think of a million reasons why he lost. So, he’s not a great sportsman, in my opinion, and I hope Ruiz knocks him out cold.”
If Fury gets his wish, Ruiz could be next on the agenda. Just like when he fought and stunned Joshua the first time, he would be a big outsider, but Fury’s come-from-behind win over Steve Cunningham back in 2013 showed short heavyweights with fast hands are not necessarily his forte. To that end, it could be a semi-useful reconnaissance mission before facing Usyk.
MORE: Where Derek Chisora over Tyson Fury result would sit on ranking the biggest upsets in heavyweight championship history
Tyson Fury vs. Joe Joyce
Joyce claimed a career-best win over Joseph Parker in September, dropping and stopping the New Zealand hardman. Parker had trained under the watchful eye of Andy Lee up at Fury’s Morecambe base and the WBC champion counts him as a close friend. Nevertheless, that did not stop Fury from lavishing praise on the Juggernaut.
“I’ve got to say that big Joe Joyce is the second best heavyweight in the world, behind myself,” he said on an Instagram video. “And on his day, given his moment, who knows if he could beat me or not? I think we’ll have to find out one of these days. It’s not your time, big Joe, I have to win undisputed first vs the middleweight [Usyk]. You also have to build yourself up to the big time.”
The situation with Usyk has since shifted and Joyce and Fury both being under Frank Warren’s promotional banner should make this a straightforward negotiation. Also, despite only being 15-0 (14 KOs), 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Joyce is 37 years old, having turned over late. He will feel there is no time like the present.
WATCH: Wilder and Joshua in sight for Joe Joyce, the cheerleader turned title contender