Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua is finally a reality after it was confirmed that the two fighters have signed a two-fight deal to unify the world heavyweight titles.
The news UK fight fans have waited for during recent weeks came on Monday afternoon when AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel that contracts are now signed. The plan is for Fury and Joshua to first meet in June or July, with the immediate rematch in November or December.
The next step is to agree a date for the first meeting of the two current world heavyweight champions, and also which site will host the first bout. The Middle East remains hot favourite due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK.
Fury and Joshua sign contracts
Hearn confirmed: “We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month. The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper. But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters.
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“I actually feel we’ve done the hard part. Speaking for myself, Anthony and his team at 258 management [258 MGT], I know how hard we’ve worked hard these last couple of months and I just feel that this fight is so big it’s not a difficult sell. We’ve already had approaches from eight or nine sites. The offers have come from multiple countries in the Middle East, from Asia, Eastern Europe and America.”
Biggest fight in boxing
“This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself.”
Both men are expected to earn around $100million each for their first fight alone. Monday’s announcement comes some nine months after they agreed in principle the financial structure for this two-fight deal.
Fury (30-0-1) and Joshua (24-1) will share revenues 50-50 for the first bout, with the winner taking a 60-40 upside for the rematch.
The fight should result in the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis back in November 1999. Fury is the WBC, Ring magazine and lineal champion while Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
Hearn’s announcement comes just days after Fury had given out frustrated vibes as he stated he had stopped training and that the fight was “nowhere near at the moment”.