Coppinger, lead boxing writer for subscription platform The Athletic, says a potential all-British world heavyweight title unification showdown could take place in Saudi Arabia in December.
Joshua convincingly outpointed Andy Ruiz Jr in the same country last December to regain his heavyweight titles after losing them to Ruiz earlier in 2019, and could soon be heading back there. Fury meanwhile is currently obliged contractually to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time – that bout is currently scheduled for October after a July date was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So for Fury vs Joshua to happen next, Wilder would need to step aside and give up his contractual right to a third fight. Which would likely need financial compensation. A conversation Coppinger says is already happening.
He said on Twitter: “Sources tell The Athletic a Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua bout is in talks for December in Saudi Arabia. Fury owes Deontay Wilder rematch so step-aside money necessary if Wilder agrees. MTK leading discussions with Eddie Hearn and Team Wilder (Top Rank/Frank Warren in loop).”
Sources tell The Athletic a Tyson Fury-Anthony Joshua bout is in talks for December in Saudi Arabia. Fury owes Deontay Wilder rematch so step-aside money necessary if Wilder agrees. MTK leading discussions with Eddie Hearn and Team Wilder (Top Rank/Frank Warren in loop)
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) April 30, 2020
Coppinger’s Tweet illustrates the incredibly complex nature of the negotiations that making this megafight next would require. Joshua is promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing while Fury is promoted by both Frank Warren in the UK and Bob Arum’s US-based Top Rank.
Aside from the promotional aspect, the battle for the TV rights would also be a fascinating sub-plot. Joshua has been fighting on the relatively new streaming platform DAZN in the United States recently and Sky Sports in the UK, while Fury’s fights appear on BT Sport in the UK and he has a massive deal with ESPN in the United States reportedly worth £80m.