TYSON FURY has been urged to put an undisputed fight with Oleksandr Usyk on the back burner and face Anthony Joshua next.
Fury is on course to face the undefeated Ukrainian – who he had a heated face-off with last weekend – for all the heavyweight marbles early next year.
But British boxing legend Ricky Hatton wants The Gypsy King to park his pursuit of undisputed glory and face AJ "for the sake of the sport."
He told Fair Betting Sites: “The boxers want it. The boxers are always the ones that want the fights and it’s just the politics that sometimes gets in the way.
"I think Frank Warren wants it, I think Eddie Hearn wants it.
"I think Tyson Fury wants it, I think AJ wants it but it’s just not happening!
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"I can’t put my finger on what it is. I’m pretty confident we’re going to get it over the line sooner or later though.
“I don’t think it’s anyone’s fault in particular either. It just takes time for big fights like this to get agreed.
"You’ve got a different promoter, different TV company – it’s frustrating.
“The AJ and Tyson fight has been talked about for three or four years now.
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"It doesn’t look good on the sport when [Terence] Crawford vs [Errol] Spence isn’t happening when we all know it should happen. AJ and Tyson not happening – it doesn’t look good.
“Those are the proper fights but then we’ve got the YouTube crew nicking all the limelight.
"For the sake of our sport, we need these fights to happen. Fingers crossed we get it over the line, absolutely.”
A December dust-up between the pair almost came to fruition after Fury gave his domestic rival a shock world title lifeline.
Negotiations, however, failed to bear fruit – paving the way for Fury to face old pal Derek Chisora in a Tottenham trilogy fight.
And Fury, 34, doesn't believe he'll ever share the ring with former two-time heavyweight champ Joshua, telling iFL TV: "Nope.
"Because man's a sausage and it should have been him here tonight – but he had poor old Derek take a good hiding again stepping in his boots."
Joshua, however, hasn't given up hope of the biggest fight in the history of British boxing materialising.
He told iDBoxing: “Well, on my behalf, I would like the opportunity. Because the longer we leave it, it’s not good for anyone.
"So, yeah, I would like the opportunity. Good luck with his next fight if he comes through.
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"Then I think he’s going to go onto undisputed, and then I’ll be fighting somebody else.
"Then hopefully, we both come victorious, and then we look to fight each other."
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