Earlier in the week, Hearn had teased the possibility that he could confirm that a date and venue is set in the aftermath of Canelo vs Billy Joe Saunders in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night.
And while he didn’t go quite that far, he did confidently tell DAZN: “Him (Canelo) and AJ the two biggest stars in the sport, we’ve got a good bit of news coming for you next week as well.”
The two world heavyweight champions are likely to lock horns in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with the winner being crowned the first undisputed king since Lennox Lewis way back in 1999. The likely date is August 14.
The road to Fury vs Joshua
The journey to this stage has already been full of twists and turns, with pulling off an event like this extremely difficult with the world in the grip of a pandemic.
It was June 10 last year when Fury and Joshua first agreed in principle the structure of a financial deal. They will share revenues 50-50 for their first meeting, The winner will then take a 60-40 upside for an immediate rematch.
Hearn announced on March 15 this year that contracts had finally been signed for that two-fight deal, and then it was on to securing a venue and a date.
Saudi Arabia has always been hot favourite to host, having staged Joshua’s rematch win over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019. And it is expected to blow the opposition out of the water with an incredible site fee bid reported to be $150million (£107million). The biggest in boxing history by some way. The UK has never really been in the running with crowds still not allowed to fill domestic arenas post-pandemic.
The other thing to finalise for promoters will be the TV broadcast details for Fury vs Joshua.
ESPN has an exclusive deal with Fury in the United States and it appears likely the bout will be pay-per-view on ESPN+ in that market.
DAZN meanwhile is expected to be a major player everywhere but the UK and US. Its global platform services more than 200 countries worldwide since launching in December 2020.
Hearn is tied contractually to DAZN in the U.S. and globally, and is expected to join DAZN in the UK also from July 1. Joshua though is not believed to be part of that deal – hence this bout still airing on Sky Sports.
Fury vs Joshua is confidently expected to smash domestic pay-per-view records. The record take currently was driven by 1.6million homes buying Joshua vs Ruiz 2 at £24.95 each in late 2019.
Pricing for Fury vs Joshua has yet to be announced, with around £29-30 believed to be likely. Promoters have talked openly of 2.5million-3million buys being possible.