Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have agreed to face each other not once, but twice, after talks between both camps, promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed.
Discussions over a mouth-watering ‘Battle of Britain’, which would see all four major world heavyweight titles on the line, have been ongoing for months.
And now Hearn, who represents Joshua, has confirmed that the financial elements of a mega-money two-fight deal have finally been agreed.
‘We’re making great progress,’ Joshua’s promoter Hearn told Sky Sports News. ‘There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates.
‘We have the Dillian Whyte mandatory which is due before this fight.
‘It’s fair to say (Joshua and Fury) are in agreement regarding the financial terms of the fight.
‘We’ve been talking to (Fury’s management team) MTK, giving them the assurances from Joshua’s side that all the details on the structure of the deal is approved from our side. And it is from Fury’s side, as well.
‘We’re in a good place. It’s fair to say that, in principle, both guys have agreed to that fight. Two fights.
‘A lot to overcome in the meantime. We’re moving in the right direction. I’m confident that both guys have giving their blessing for the fight to go ahead.’
A showdown between the British heavyweights has been talked about for years, but scheduling and contractual issues have so far prevented it from happening.
Hearn, however, is confident that contracts will be finalised early next year, with the pair going head-to-head for the first time in the summer of 2021.
He added: ‘The point of Fury, Joshua and the teams agreeing to the structure of the deal? The first fight could happen next summer. It will be 2021.
‘There is a big period of time where Whyte should get his shot at the title. That’s important to us.
‘The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence.
‘The most difficult part of any deal is the financial element. I believe we’re in a great place where both guys have agreed to what that should be.
‘We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out. We’re pushing towards a place where they can be drafted, for 2021.
‘Both guys are in agreement. The structure of the deal has been put forward, and agreed to by both parties.
‘There is a model in place that both parties are happy with.’
Joshua, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, faces a rearranged defence of his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev and must also get through a rematch with old rival Whyte by February of next year before he can take on Fury.
The Gyspsy King, meanwhile, is preparing for a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder after comprehensively beating the previously undefeated American to claim the WBC belt earlier this year.
But while those fights will attract a global audience, Hearn expects the showdown between Fury and Joshua to be the biggest fight in decades.
‘It’s the biggest fight ever in British boxing,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t get bigger, and there will never be a bigger fight in our generation.
‘Two guys, very different, who fight differently, have experienced different things and have come back from adversity.’
Hearn also refused to confirm that the first fight would be held on UK shores, with Las Vegas and the Middle East likely to be among the options.
‘There are discussions with various sites,’ he added.
‘From a common-sense point of view and without knowing how a deal works, everyone will say Britain is the place to hold the fight. But it is the world heavyweight championship – there will be all sorts of offers from across the world, and there have been already.
‘The venue is another obstacle to overcome.’