Right now the biggest fight to make in boxing is a heavyweight unification bout between champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Turns out that blockbuster fight is now in the works.
ESPN reported that negations are underway to book a fight between the two Englishmen. Ironically, the negotiations aren’t to have the fight in the United Kingdom, but it appears the fight would happen in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula.
Fury’s adviser, MTK, which is based in Dubai, is negotiating for Fury on behalf of his co-promoters, Top Rank and Frank Warren of Queensbury Promotions. MTK is handling the negotiations due to a rift between Warren and Eddie Hearn of Matchroom boxing who promotes Joshua.
In order to make the fight a reality, the offers made to Fury would have to be large enough to pay Deontay Wilder to waive his contractual right to an immediate rematch with Fury.
Fury and Wilder fought to a draw in December 2018. The two rematched in February and Fury defeated Wilder by a seventh round knockout. The third fight is tentatively planned for later this year. Wilder is currently coming off of surgery.
Meanwhile, as talks of a Joshua-Fury fight are going around, Wilder’s adviser, Shelly Finkel, said that Wilder’s camp is still planning for another bout with Fury.
“As far as we’re concerned, the next fight [for Wilder] is the third fight [with Fury],” Finkel told ESPN.
Joshua was scheduled to fight mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20, but the fight was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. With the fight canceled, Hearn said right now talks are in place to discuss where the fight would thappen and how to deal with everyone’s current contracts with already scheduled opponents.
“The conversations between myself and MTK are that we’ve had an approach,” Hearn said. “We’ve had a number of approaches from territories to stage that fight. So the only discussions at the moment are where this fight takes place — and we don’t even know when this fight could take place. … We’re certainly open to have discussions about the possibility of this happening this year or in the next fight.
“There’s more chance at the moment that the bigger money could come next year because we don’t even know if we can do live crowds in November, December.”
Fury, who willingly fights anywhere, is okay with having this huge fight outside of the UK.
“I’ll fight in Timbuktu if the money’s right,” Fury said. “I have a bag and I will travel.”
If the fight takes place, the winner would hold every heavyweight title in boxing. The last time the division had a single champ was when Fury defeated Wladmir Klitschko in 2015.
Anthony Joshua (23-1) currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight championships. He avenged his Shockley upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2019 to claim back his belts. Fury (30-0-1) is the current WBC, The Ring Magazine and Lineal heavyweight champion.