A Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua superfight is finally close to becoming reality with May 2021 the likely date, according to Eddie Hearn.
Joshua removed one of the last remaining obstacles to the dream match when he knocked out Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds in London on Saturday night.
Just 24 hours after that Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, was on the phone to Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum to get things moving with a view to finalising the biggest fight in British boxing history.
Fury vs Joshua, moving forward
Hearn told Sky Sports on Monday: “Had a good chat with him (Arum) last night. It was positive, I think we’re all in the same position, we wanna move forward with the fight quickly as well, which is good news for fans.
“Bob was very vocal before the Pulev fight saying that Pulev was gonna destroy Joshua. He was quick to say after that he wasn’t very impressed with Anthony’s performance, which was interesting. We had a joke about that.
“We’re really now in the stage of just trying to solve any remaining issues in the fight, of which there aren’t many to be honest with you. Trying to move forward collectively to let the governing bodies know that we plan to stage this fight probably in May, and we would like this to be for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
"I think we're all in the same position. We want to move forward with the fight, quickly as well, which is good news for fans." 👀
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is being planned for May after positive negotiations 👇
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) December 14, 2020
“So, few small issues to iron out, but I think we can start looking at drawing up contracts and get this moving.”
Sometimes when you’re trying to put a big fight together a fighter might not fancy it, a promoter might not fancy it, a trainer might not fancy it. Here, on both sides, every member of each team wants to do this fight.
“We all acknowledge this is the biggest fight in boxing, this is the best fight for both guys, this is for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. Why are you in the sport if you don’t want this fight?
“We believe, Team Joshua, we win this fight. They believe they win this fight. So let’s find out, that’s what sport’s all about.”
AJ not interested in the hype
While Fury has accused Joshua more than once of being reluctant to take the fight, Hearn says his man is just not the type for stunts and social media noise. He says AJ has also been burned once in this situation when a unification with Deontay Wilder never happened.
“I just think they’re two different people aren’t they. Tyson Fury was invited to the fight to come down and watch. He chose to watch it from his sofa and put something out straight after with his Christmas jumper on. It’s not AJ. AJ’s not gonna stand up there, dress up as Batman for press conferences and call him a big dosser. It’s just not what he does.
“For AJ, we learnt from the Deontay Wilder negotiations, we’re not gonna get too excited until the ink is dry. Part of AJ believes maybe Tyson Fury won’t take this fight. We’ve been here before when chasing the undisputed championship. I’ve told him, I’ve backed my judgment that they do want this fight and we will get this fight made.”
There is still one remaining obstacle potentially to Fury vs Joshua happening in May. That is in the shape of WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The WBO has said Usyk should get a shot at champion Joshua now that he has dealt with Pulev.
Joshua is likely to be left with the choice of vacating the title to fight Fury, or risking the Fury fight by defending against Usyk. Neither is a scenario he would prefer right now, but it appears if push comes to shove that a career-defining fight will trump the lure of undisputed.