Joshua (23-1) has agreed in principle the financial structure for two potential fights with Fury in 2021. But the venue is perhaps the hottest potato of all in the upcoming negotiations.
AJ’s last bout – that rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr – took place in Saudi Arabia in December 2019 to howls of protest in many quarters.
Promoters Eddie Hearn, Frank Warren and Bob Arum have been completely up front about the possibility that Fury vs Joshua could also happen overseas. This if a territory outside the UK comes in with a site fee which blows domestic venues out of the water.
Joshua realistic but hopeful on UK location
Joshua, who defends his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, says though that he is keen the big fight happens in the UK. So much so that he would take less money to make that happen.
Speaking at a press conference, reported by The Guardian, he said: “Yeah, why not? I’m now fighting Pulev for a massive pay cut. Matchroom are taking pay cuts this year because we have to keep the sport alive.
“We are all doing our part at the minute so I wouldn’t mind doing it again. It’s not harming me, and it’s for a bigger cause as well. It’s a big fight, but the main objective is how do we get Fury in the ring?”
While Joshua’s hope is that a unification clash with ‘The Gypsy King’ would take place in the UK, he is honest and realistic about how things might play out.
“My management team are going to do what is financially viable and see what is going to get Fury to step in that ring. It’s a balance,” he added.
High stakes for AJ in Pulev clash
The showdown with Pulev on Saturday week has the highest of stakes for Joshua. If he wins, all roads lead to Fury. Should the unthinkable happen, the water becomes awfully muddy. The result could be Fury vs Wilder 3 and not Fury vs Joshua.
Joshua vs Pulev, which has been moved from the O2 Arena to the SSE Arena at Wembley, will have 1000 fans in attendance. Tickets go on sale on Friday December 4.
The big fight will be showed live on pay-per-view in the UK by Sky Sports Box Office (£24.95). Streaming platform DAZN meanwhile will show the bout in more than 200 markets after its global launch. They include the United States but not the UK with Sky having an exclusive deal with Joshua.