Eddie Hearn is still confident Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua will take place next year, but he will not rule out the possibility of it taking place behind closed doors with no fans in attendance.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still causing carnage on a global scale, there is no guaranteed date in sight yet where it may be possible for spectators to fill up boxing arenas again.
And that is a major issue at the elite end of the sport, where live gate revenue provides a healthy percentage of the overall fight take. Fury’s rematch in Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in February for example raked in almost $17million through the turnstiles – a record for a heavyweight bout.
When asked whether a Fury vs Joshua showdown could take place without fans, Hearn, whose Matchroom Boxing promotes Joshua, told talkSPORT Breakfast: “I think if that’s the world we end up living in, we have no choice but to find a model that can make that happen.
“I’m really pleased with Fight Camp because it’s been a huge project that’s brought a lot of publicity to the sport.
“But the reality is, as we know in boxing, there’s nothing like live crowds. That’s what we live and breathe for.”
Fury and Joshua announced on June 10 that they have agreed in principle the financial structure of a two-fight deal. The fighters would split revenues 50-50 in the first fight with the winner then taking a 60-40 share for the rematch. And Hearn remains confident at least one of those fights, and hopefully both, will take place in 2021.
“I mean you’ve got so many things in the mix, you’ve got Dillian Whyte who’s gonna be the mandatory for Fury.
“Fury’s gotta fight Wilder, AJ’s gotta fight Pulev. But we have agreed with Fury and his team that we’ll do those two fights next year. One won’t be until the summer and the other one at the end of the year.
“So right now, I don’t wanna dampen hopes for fight fans, but right now it’s one fight at a time.”
Fury and Joshua of course have other commitments before they can finally lock horns inside the ropes. Fury (30-0-1) is slated to meet Deontay Wilder (42-1-1) for the WBC title in a trilogy fight later this year, hopefully on Saturday December 19.
Joshua (23-1) meanwhile will defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against IBF mandatory challenge Kubrat Pulev (28-1). That fight is also expected at this stage to take place in December, with London the likeliest venue at this stage.