‘It’s officially over’: Tyson Fury claims planned fight with Anthony Joshua is off

Tyson Fury has said his proposed world heavyweight title showdown with Anthony Joshua is off after his self-imposed deadline of 5pm on Monday expired.

Fury set Joshua’s camp an ultimatum on Friday night, insisting that if the deal could not be done in time, he would walk away from the blockbuster all-British bout. Having made previous posts encouraging Joshua to sign the contract through the day, Fury then claimed the fight was “officially over” after the deadline.

In a video posted to Instagram, Fury said: “Well guys, it’s official. D-day has come and gone. It’s gone past five o’clock, Monday. No contract has been signed. It’s officially over for Joshua. He is now out in the cold with the wolfpack. Forget about it.”

The reigning WBC champion then labelled Joshua an “idiot, coward, shithouse … and a body builder. Always knew it. Always knew you didn’t have the minerals to fight the Gypsy King,” he continued. “Regardless of what the fuck you say now, I don’t really care. Good luck with your career, and your life. End of. Peace out.”

Joshua has yet to respond, but said on Sunday he planned to sign the fight contract but was taking legal advice first. “It ain’t in my hands – it’s with a legal team. That’s why you hire lawyers,” Joshua said in an Instagram Live video.

“You know the history of boxing – make sure you get your legal terms right. That’s why you get good management and good lawyers,” he added. “So of course I’m going to sign the contract – it’s just with some lawyers at the minute.”

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, had already said there was “no chance” of contracts being signed by Monday, although the challenger’s team are thought to have already verbally accepted Fury’s offer of a 60-40 purse split.

TV executives from BT Sport and the streaming service Dazn were scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss broadcasting rights, an indication that a deal for the planned December fight was thought to be close.

Mahmoud Charr is a potential alternative opponent for Fury, after the German challenged the champion on social media. Fury reposted Charr’s message with the caption: “If [Joshua] don’t sign today you are in big G and you can show them how a real man throws down!”

Joshua suffered a second consecutive defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia last month and Fury’s hopes of a match against the Ukrainian soon were dashed after he indicated he does not intend to return to the ring until 2023.