ANTHONY JOSHUA and Tyson Fury have signed a two-fight deal to contest the undisputed heavyweight crown this summer, according to Eddie Hearn, who promotes Joshua. He told ESPN that the financial deal has been agreed. The next stage will be for all parties to agree on the site and location of the bout, so hurdles do still remain, but this should be a key step forward in the making of the superfight.
Previously Hearn explained, “The process was always going to be getting everybody signed, getting everyone involved with this deal to sign on the dotted line. That has been actually a process that’s taken probably two or three weeks longer than we expected.
“We know we’ve got to go out and complete the site deal but that’s quite a big statement from both guys to put pen to paper.”
Negotiations will be taking place with six or seven possible sites for a fight that would unify the WBC title that Fury holds with Joshua’s WBO, WBA and IBF titles, all four of the major heavyweight belts in world boxing.
“Both fighters and parties as well, promoters, need to be happy with the deal that’s in place, the financial deal and the site deal,” Hearn had told reporters. “We all have to agree to where the fight will take place and what the deal is. But ultimately we didn’t want to start going through the process of this until everybody had signed an agreement in terms of the deal and moving forward.
“Now it’s our job collectively with the two teams to go out and present the options and the sites to the fighters for them to agree which one to take.
“There will be at least half a dozen offers to stage this fight which we will have to present to our client, and Top Rank will have to present to their client to say these are the options, which one would you like to move forward with.
“Everybody’s going to go now and look for the biggest site deal, together as a team and then present them to the fighters. There’s no fight financially that will come close to this for both guys. Already the offers that we’ve had are considerable so I don’t see an issue with that.”
Saudi Arabia, which controversially staged Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz in 2019, will be among the bidders for this fight. “Saudi are one of only six or seven now, who we’ve whittled down to continue those talks with. I think that Saudi is a definite possibility but there are a number of other conversations to have as well,” Hearn said.
As well as the location, the broadcaster is unconfirmed but Hearn can see both BT Sport and Sky Sports Box Office agreeing to a dual airing pf the fight in the UK. The date too must be established, with it likely to take place in late June or early summer.
“Let’s focus on what we’ve all agreed to,” Hearn said, “which is the biggest fight in boxing.”