HEAVYWEIGHT UNIFICATION BOUT
Matchroom boxing promoter, Eddie Hearn, has confirmed the blockbuster bout between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury has now been verbally agreed and will likely take place next May or June.
Hearn insisted on Sunday that only a few minor issues are yet to be resolved in the latest indication that both British stars will soon fight to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
Joshua’s ninth-round knockout triumph over Kubrat Pulev earlier this month immediately sparked renewed hope that the duo would finally settle their differences in the ring next year.
A two-fight agreement is already in place for 2021 ahead of what is being billed by many as the biggest showdown in British boxing history.
The lucrative contracts are currently being drawn up, according to Hearn, with the venue and specific events on the night still up for discussion.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger posted Hearn’s quotes on Twitter after Callum Smith’s defeat by Canelo Alvarez in Texas.
He wrote: ‘Eddie Hearn says Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua is verbally agreed to and contracts are being drafted for the heavyweight championship fight in May/June.
“Hearn says only “minor issues to resolve” such as who walks last, the site, etc. This fight is going to happen next.”
Every world heavyweight title would be on the line for the mouthwatering clash, with unified heavyweight champion Joshua taking on WBC title holder Fury.
The much-anticipated scrap would see Joshua and Fury pocket £100million each.
A purse split of 50-50 will be in place for the first fight and a 60-40 split weighted in favour of the winner for the rematch.
There are still several roadblocks to overcome, however, as Hearn has alluded to.
Oleksandr Usyk stands in the way as the WBO mandatory challenger but has now hinted he would be willing to step aside and allow Fury to take on Joshua.
The broadcasting arrangement for the fight also remains unclear. Joshua is signed to Sky and DAZN, while Fury is with BT and ESPN, creating a complicated situation.
Fury remains stuck in a legal dispute with Deontay Wilder over the latter’s claim to a rematch. The former’s camp believe this is invalid.
Coppinger has shed some light on the location for the Battle of Britain fight.
He suggested it is likely to take place in the Middle East – with Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia all touted as potential hosts – although the UK is ‘still in play’.