At last the biggest fight in boxing will take place in the summer of 2021. Promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN that British heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury “have agreed to the basics” of a deal to fight twice in 2021.
No contracts have been signed yet, but the first fight is likely to happen next summer. Both Joshua and Fury have fights coming up and both sides will not sign to a venue or date until winning their title defenses.
“We have agreed to the basics of the deal, a two-fight deal,” Hearn, who promotes Joshua, told ESPN. “The hardest part is to agree to the financial element of the deal. We have agreed with Tyson Fury and the team, and we can now move forward with finalizing the smaller parts of the deal. The good news for fight fans is that we have agreed to do the two fights and we can now go and dot the I’s and cross the T’s.
“They also have fights in between to make and get through, and that’s another issue.”
Both Joshua and Fury discussed fighting each other at the end of this year, but that idea went out the window when Deontay Wilder agreed to rematch Fury.
Fury (30-0-1), the reigning WBC and lineal heavyweight champion, is coming off a TKO win over Wilder in February and now the two will meet for a third time later this year. Originally, the trilogy was booked for July, but the global coronavirus pandemic caused the postponement of the bout. Their first fight in 2018 ended in a draw.
Joshua (23-1), the reigning WBO, WBA, and IBF heavyweight champion, just avenged his lone shocking upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in December. His next fight will take place later this year against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. The two were originally scheduled to fight on June 20, but the bout was canceled because of the pandemic.
One other hurdle before a Joshua-Fury super-fight is fellow British heavyweight Dillian Whyte, who scheduled as a mandatory challenger for the WBC belt in early 2021.
“Who knows what’s going to happen with Deontay Wilder, but we [Matchroom Sport] want Dillian Whyte to fight for the world title, and he is supposed to fight Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, by February 2021,” Hearn said. “There are obstacles to overcome, but the good news is that we are moving forward.”
Fury tweeted about the agreement to face Joshua, saying in a video: “The biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed. … Two-fight deal, Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua next year. One problem: I’ve just got to smash Deontay Wilder’s face right in in the next fight, and then we go into the Joshua fight next year.”
It’s official FURY VS JOSUAR AGREED FOR NEXT YEAR, I got to smash @bronzebomber first then I’ll annihilate @anthonyfjoshua #WEARESPARTANS— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) June 10, 2020
MASSIVE THANKS TO DANIEL KINNERHAN FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN.🙏🏻👍🏻 god bless pic.twitter.com/18FfVKfCax
If the two continue on their path with both still having their championships, it would make the fight historic as the heavyweight championship has not been unified in 20 years.