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Other SportsFury v Joshua: Man United star Mainoo 'not sure' if Wembley fight...

Fury v Joshua: Man United star Mainoo ‘not sure’ if Wembley fight would spell defeat for boxing champ

Kobbie Mainoo has told Manchester United that he is a huge boxing fan – and said he is “not sure” if Anthony Joshua would beat Red Devils supporter Tyson Fury in a long-anticipated fight between the British rivals.

England newcomer Mainoo named boxing and basketball as two of the sports he enjoys away from football but would not be drawn when he was asked by the club whether Joshua could prevail over the Mancunian.

“It would definitely be a good scrap,” the 18-year-old told United’s official site. “Fury is very technical, isn’t he?”

The proposed heavyweight contest has frequently fallen by the wayside despite negotiations between Fury and Joshua’s teams, with the WBC champion scheduled to take on unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk in a bout to become undisputed champion in Saudi Arabia on May 18.

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Fury has not been shy to publicly discuss his support for United, including an interview with broadcasters ITV before he watched Erik ten Hag’s side beat Liverpool after extra time at Old Trafford in the FA Cup quarter-finals in March.

The 35-year-old and Usyk are obliged to honour a rematch but Fury’s US promoter, Bob Arum, suggested on Wednesday that the Ukrainian could step aside to allow the fighter known as ‘The Gypsy King’ to face Joshua at Wembley Stadium.

Arum also said it would “really put an exclamation point” on Fury’s “great career” if he beats Usyk twice and fights Joshua at England’s national stadium in what would be one of the most lucrative bouts of all time.

Fury v Joshua: Saudis ‘want Wembley’

Businessman Arum added that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and General Entertainment Authority “can have a tremendous influence on the fighters”.

“Maybe if Fury is successful, they can make it worthwhile to Usyk to step aside to allow a Joshua fight to happen this year,” Arum told Sky Sports.

“The Saudis [have] all this money [and] can dictate the place. [They] are also very intelligent and they would, I think, like nothing more than to do that fight at Wembley with 95,000 people, where they were the promoters.

“I think that would do more for their image than doing that fight, Fury and Joshua, in Saudi. But that’s up to them. That’s what I feel in talking to them briefly about the future.”

Fury made his debut in Saudi Arabia when he beat Francis Ngannou on points in a surprisingly close fight in October, including a knockdown for the boxing debutant and former UFC champion.

Wembley was the setting when Fury stopped Dillian Whyte in front of a European boxing attendance record of 94,000 fans in 2022.

Joshua lost his titles to Usyk in Saudi Arabia in the same year and has fought there on three other occasions, beating Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019, Otto Wallin in 2023 and Ngannou via second-round knockout last month.

‘AJ’ knocked out hall-of-famer Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in 2017 in arguably the finest performance of his career.

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