Tyson Fury’s December clash against Agit Kabayel in doubt as Fury announces 2021 return

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Tyson Fury’s planned homecoming clash with Agit Kabayel in December has been thrown into doubt after the WBC heavyweight champion said he will be “returning in 2021”.

Fury was expected to announce his title defence against Kabayel for next month, but has entered into a mediation process with Deontay Wilder after failing to agree terms for a third WBC heavyweight title fight.

“The Gypsy King is returning in 2021,” Fury posted on Twitter. “Only those that have supported me 100% since my comeback will be with me for the glory.”

Fury drew with Wilder when they first met but overcame the American when they fought for a second time in February, and it has been previously reported that the heavyweights were contracted for a third and final fight to complete the trilogy.

The ongoing dispute over a third fight could disrupt plans for an undisputed world title clash between Fury and Anthony Joshua, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Agit Kabayel (right) was expected to fight Fury in December
Agit Kabayel (right) was expected to fight Fury in December

Unified champion Joshua will face IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, but Hearn is unsure whether Fury can still press ahead with a blockbuster battle next year.

He told Sky Sports: “We try and avoid the mess, and keep discipline and focus on what we’re doing, and the path for AJ has always been clear, with the ups and downs of the Ruiz fight, and getting that rematch over the line.

“But we know what we’re doing. December 12, it was announced probably eight weeks before the fight, we’re focused on the victory.

“That’s their [Fury and Wilder’s] business, it’s a right mess either way, and it’s not going to resolve itself any time soon.

“Hopefully we can just make sure that if Anthony Joshua can beat Kubrat Pulev on December 12, then the path is clear for AJ against Fury in 2021.”

Asked if the Joshua vs Fury schedule could become more complicated, Hearn said: “If the legal action rumbles on, because ultimately after that fight with Pulev, we want to be in a position to say ‘This is the fight for the undisputed’.

“Get the sanctioning in place and obviously you’ve got [Oleksandr] Usyk now standing in the wings, saying ‘Once that Pulev fight is over, I want to be called as mandatory’.

“That’s just going to be another issue that we’re going to have to deal with. Hopefully, they can resolve whatever problem – who is right, who is wrong. That’s the job of the arbitrators and the mediators, and good luck to them.”