Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn revealed the news on March 15, 2021 and it is now likely the first meeting will take place on Saturday August 14 in Saudi Arabia, with an immediate rematch in November or December.
After weeks of tense contractual negotiations, the pair finally signed on the dotted line for the biggest fights in British boxing history. And in mid-April they agreed to a venue as well – an announcement on that is expected in the coming days with Hearn revealing that Saudi is the bid in question.
Fury (30-0-1) and Joshua (24-1) had announced back on June 10, 2020 that they had agreed in principle the financial structure for their deal. They will split revenues 50-50 for their first meeting, with the winner taking a 60-40 upside for the rematch.
Joshua’s crushing ninth-round knockout of Kubrat Pulev in London on December 12, 2020 removed the final obstacle to this huge superfight happening. Now, finally, it has become reality. Let the build-up commence!
Fury vs Joshua date and fight time
Now that contracts are signed for a two-fight deal, the first Fury vs Joshua fight it set to take place in the summer of 2021. The date promoters are working towards is Saturday August 14.
The pair would then likely rematch before the end of 2021 – likely in November or December.
The actual start time for the bout is likely to be primetime in the UK and early evening in the United States.
Fury vs Joshua TV channel and live stream
With both fighters signed to different networks, the TV broadcast is the biggest remaining negotiation point after the venue.
Their current broadcast situation is as follows:
- Fury reportedly has a first/last/matching deal with BT Sport Boxing. All his fights since that 2018 comeback have aired on the network.
- Joshua has an exclusive deal with Sky Sports. He has been a cash cow for them on PPV for a number of years. His rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019 netted a domestic record of 1.6million buys at £24.95 a time.
- Fury has an exclusive deal with ESPN. The reported £80million five-fight pact has two bouts remaining. The first will be Fury’s title defence on December 5. The second in theory will be the first showdown with Joshua.
- Joshua has a matching rights deal with DAZN (subscription platform, $19,99 a month in the United States or $99 for one year. Also launches in more than 200 markets globally in December 2020, cost of £1.99 per month or less).
Hearn’s decision to sign a huge five-year deal with DAZN in the UK (ending a long association with Sky) doesn’t affect things from a Fury vs Joshua broadcast perspective That is because the DAZN deal does not include Joshua or fellow heavyweight star Dillian Whyte.
The highly likely scenario in the UK remains a joint pay-per-view production with both Sky Sports Box Office and BT Sport Box Office airing the bout.
The situation in the United States is a little less clear. Joshua’s recent bouts have aired on DAZN while Fury has an exclusive deal with ESPN. Arum has said the bout will be a pay-per-view on the ESPN+ platform with DAZN missing out. That though has yet to be officially confirmed. DAZN will likely hoover up the rights everywhere outside the UK and US.
The UK price for any Fury vs Joshua pay-per-view has been the subject of much speculation. Some reports earlier this year suggested Sky might charge as much as £49.99. But those have never been confirmed.
The normal price of top UK pay-per-views is anything between £19.95 and £24.95. Hearn believes £29.95 would be the likely price point. Joshua vs Pulev will retail for £24.95.
This is still significantly cheaper than major PPV shows in the United States. The Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Conor McGregor superfight in 2017 was priced at $99.95 for HD.
Fury vs Joshua venue
The venue for a Fury vs Joshua showdown has been the biggest political hot potato of all.
Clearly it’s a fight between two British world heavyweight champions. So surely the ideal venue is outdoor at Wembley Stadium with 90,000 in attendance? Not so fast.
Instead the bout is set to place in the Middle East territory of Saudi Arabia, probably in an indoor arena in the city of Jeddah (per Arum).
Qatar, Uzbekistan, Russia, United States and England were also in the running to stage the bout, but the Saudis appear to have won out with a massive site fee offer – reportedly around $150million (£107million).
It is hoped the Fury vs Joshua rematch has much more chance of taking place in the UK. The vaccination programme domestically has been a major success and could yet see arenas hosting full crowds by late in the year.
Fury vs Joshua odds
Tyson Fury is now favourite to defeat Anthony Joshua when they finally meet. But it wasn’t always like that.
Joshua was favourite with the bookmakers before that shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr in the summer of 2019. But the tables have very much turned since then.
Fury is the 4/7 favourite pretty much across the board with UK bookmakers, while Joshua is the 11/8 underdog.
In the United States, Fury is as short as -250 while Joshua is as big as +175.
Fury vs Joshua tickets
Right now, all fights in the UK and in most parts of the world are taking place behind closed doors due to COVID-19 restrictions. Indeed all the UK shows for January 2021 were called off.
Details of where tickets can be bought will be revealed as soon as the date and venue for the fight are finalised.
Normally if Fury or Joshua fight on foreign fields, one would expect a huge exodus of travelling fans to make the journey to watch the fight. Again, with COVID-19 restrictions in force in most parts of the world, that would appear to be an unlikely scenario in 2021.
Currently Saudi Arabia is in the ‘amber’ category for UK travellers. Meaning they are not strictly supposed to go there for leisure purposes. And they must quarantine for 10 days upon returning to the UK.
Fury vs Joshua weights
Per boxing protocol, the weigh-in for Fury vs Joshua would take place the day before the fight itself.
Fury weighed in at 273lbs (19st 7lbs) for his last fight – that demolition of Deontay Wilder in their Las Vegas rematch in February 2020. More than a stone heavier than for their first meeting in December 2018.
Joshua meanwhile tipped the scales at 240lbs (17st 2lbs) for his knockout victory over Kubrat Pulev in London on December 12, 2020.
Fury vs Joshua purses
Fury and Joshua will take home the biggest purses of their careers so far when they finally meet, with Arum revealing they will earn close to $100million EACH for their night’s work.
It is a huge showdown which would create enormous buzz and interest. And record pay-per-view figures.
Fighters normally receive a minimum guarantee and an upside based on eventual pay-per-view numbers.
Fury reportedly took home around $25million (£19million) for that rematch victory over Wilder in February 2020.
Joshua meanwhile is reported to have earned around £60million before tax and deductions for the Ruiz Jr rematch.
The deal for Fury vs Joshua means the two fighters share revenues 50-50 for the first bout. The rematch would see the winner of the first bout take a 60-40 share.
What is certain that both fighters will see their net worth increased considerably by meeting each other inside the ropes. Some outlets are reporting that the expected two-fight pact will generate an incredible £500million in total.
Current world heavyweight champions
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua hold all of the major world heavyweight titles as we look ahead to their showdown in 2021.
- Fury is the World Boxing Council (WBC), Ring Magazine and lineal heavyweight champion.
- Joshua meanwhile is the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion.
It is hoped their fight will be a unification match with all of the belts on the line, resulting in an undisputed champion.
However there is the possibility that Joshua may have to vacate the WBO belt if he wants to fight Fury next. That is because otherwise he may have to face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The Ukrainian cemented his claim for a title shot by outpointing seasoned veteran Dereck Chisora at Wembley Arena last October.
The last undisputed world heavyweight champion was back in November 1999. That was another Briton in Lennox Lewis. He defeated Evander Holyfield on points in Las Vegas.
Fury vs Joshua promoters
Even outside the ring there is an all-star cast for Fury vs Joshua.
Fury is co-promoted by two Hall of Famers. The Top Rank supremo Arum in the United States. And Queensberry Promotions head Warren in the UK.
Joshua meawhile is promoted by Matchroom Boxing and Hearn. Hearn is a bigger media star than most fighters in the UK, in particular via his social media feeds. The parody ‘No Context Hearn’ Twitter account, which clips some of his best one-liners as short videos, has more than 350,000 followers. Like Hearn himself, it has become a cult thing.
Tyson Fury record and profile
Tyson Luke Fury, now 32 years old. was born in Wythenshawe in Manchester on August 12, 1988. Then a premature baby and weighing just one pound at birth, he is now a huge physical specimen. He is 6ft 9ins tall with a reach of 85ins. He lives in the seaside town of Morecambe in Lancashire.
Fury has a record of 30-0-1 with 21 wins inside distance. His only draw was that first meeting with Wilder in Los Angeles in December 2018.
Tyson (named after Mike Tyson) had his pro debut in December 2008. He disposed of Bela Gyongyosi with ease, and the rest is history.
There are two distinct chapters to Fury’s glittering career. The first from debut to November 2015, when he shocked Wladimir Klitschko to become world heavyweight champion.
Then came that three-year hiatus when Fury’s mental health issues threatened not only his boxing career, but his life. He also ballooned in weight to 400lbs.
Part two – the comeback – began in the summer of 2018 when the new Fury easily beat Sefer Seferi in Manchester. Just six months later he was back at world-title level.
Fury boxed brilliantly against Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles in 2018. Despite being knocked down twice, many experts felt he deserved the decision. Instead it was a controversial draw.
After wins over Otto Wallin and Tom Schwarz in 2019, Fury would rematch Wilder in Las Vegas in February 2020. This time he would leave nothing to chance.
Trained by Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward and Andy Lee for the first time, he dominated from the first bell. The result was a one-sided beatdown which ended in Round 7 when Wilder’s towel came in.
Anthony Joshua record and profile
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua was born in Watford on October 15, 1989. He is now 31 years old. Joshua stands 6ft 6ins tall with a reach of 82ins. He has a professional record of 23-1 with 21 wins inside distance.
Joshua was destined for professional stardom right from the start, having won Olympic gold in the amateurs at the London Olympics of 2012.
He was utterly dominant in his entry into the paid ranks, demolishing all-comers (including big domestic rival Dillian Whyte) en route to a 15-0 start and his first shot at a world title.
That came against American Charles Martin in April 2016, and AJ made the most of the opportunity. He blasted out Martin inside two rounds to become IBF world heavyweight champion.
Six more victories followed as AJ added the WBA and WBO belts to his collection. His victims included the likes of Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin and Carlos Takam.
The signature success though came against Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium in April 2017. After appearing on the brink of defeat, AJ recovered to win a classic via an 11th-round stoppage.
Joshua’s career suffered its first major blip in June 2019, on his American debut at Madison Square Garden. He was beaten inside seven rounds by late stand-in Andy Ruiz Jr.
AJ though took his defeat graciously and immediately exercised the rematch clause. Six months later, lighter and faster, he adapted his gameplan to box beautifully en route to a points victory in the Saudi Arabia rematch.
After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joshua finally returned to the ring against Kubrat Pulev on Saturday December 12, 2020.
And the Watford man produced an impressive display to knock out the durable Bulgarian in nine rounds. Pulev took a standing count and was down in the third and then twice in the ninth. The final exclamation point came via a beautiful Joshua right hand which closed the show in some style.