Following Dillian Whyte’s defeat by Alexander Povetkin on Saturday, the only remaining obstacles to the biggest fight in British boxing history are interim fights for both men.
WBC, lineal and Ring magazine king Fury (30-0-1) has a trilogy match with the aforementioned Wilder to negotiate – it is still hoped at the moment that could take place in the United States on Saturday December 19.
Joshua (23-1) meanwhile must safely overcome IBF mandatory contender Kubrat Pulev – likely at London’s O2 Arena early in December, and potentially behind closed doors.
AJ appeared on Sky’s popular comedy/quiz show ‘A League Of Their Own’, and was of course asked about the fight that everybody wants to see.
He said: “I’ve had a shorter career, I’m fresher. I’ve been in the deep end longer, I’m gonna be able to handle the pressure and take him out. Fury knew how to beat him [Wilder] and took him to school. I believe I’m better than Wilder all round.”
Joshua – not normally one for outlandish promotional statements – was unusually strong in his verdict on what will happen when he finally steps inside the ropes with Fury.
“I have a lot of respect for the man, he’s a good family man and a good fighter. But on the other hand, I want to break his head. First six rounds. I know I’m going to take him out then.”
Fury and Joshua have already agreed in principle the financial structure of a two-fight deal. The first bout – which most experts will take place in the summer of 2021 – will see a 50-50 revenue split with the winner taking a 60-40 lion’s share for the rematcb.
With Fury’s fights airing on BT Sport Box Office and Joshua’s being broadcast by Sky Sports Box Office, it appears likely at this stage that a joint PPV might happen, allowing both networks to show the fight.
There are precedents for this in the United States in the past, with HBO and Showtime partnering for Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson in 2002 and Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Manny Pacquiao in 2015. The latter smashed the Stateside record with an incredible 4.6million buys.
Joshua alone meanwhile registered a UK record of around 1.6million buys for his rematch victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.