Hearn – whose Matchroom Boxing promotes IBF, WBA and WBO king Joshua – says initial financial terms have been thrashed out for a double-header to unify the world heavyweight titles – which most experts believe will take place in 2021.
Hearn told Sky Sports: “We’re making great progress. 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.”
As well as the potential obstacle of that Whyte mandatory, both Joshua and lineal champion Fury (who holds the WBC and Ring magazine titles) have fights contracted for later this year – Fury a third meeting with American Deontay Wilder and Joshua with 39-year-old Bulgarian mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
All the talk from both camps recently is that they are on the same page in a desire to give British fight fans an incredible event – a world heavyweight title unification showdown between two British fighters at the top of their game. And Hearn emphasised that is the case, elaborating on the discussions so far.
“We’ve been talking to MTK (Fury’s management company), 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.
“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.”
A number of potential venues have been mentioned for a Fury vs Joshua showdown – as well as the usual suspects London and Las Vegas, the likes of Saudi Arabia (which staged Joshua’s rematch victory over Andy Ruiz Jr last December) and the Far East are also reportedly in the running.
Fury’s third meeting against Wilder could yet take place in Australia over Christmas, while Hearn has been assessing the potential to stage Joshua vs Pulev at a venue like the Royal Albert Hall with a small crowd of VIPs observing social distancing rules.