Middle East, chasing Fury vs Joshua, set for big boost

The Middle East sports industry is set for a major boom as it continues to chase the right to stage Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua later this year.

According to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar are all in the running to stage the superfight between the current world heavyweight champions.

The lucky bidder is expected to stump up a massive site fee to host the biggest fight in British boxing history. Holding the bout in the UK is virtually impossible due to strict COVID-19 restrictions which would rule out a large crowd attending.

Middle East boom

Now, accoring to TradeArabia, the sports industry in the region is set to rise by an extremely healthy 8.7% in the next three to five years. This figure comes from a survey produced by global consultancy firm Pricewaterhouse Cooper (PwC).

As well as the possibly Fury vs Joshua showdown, Saudi Arabia is already booked to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Jeddah later in 2021. It has already played to a Joshua fight, the Watford man’s rematch victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019. Qatar meanwhile is of course preparing to host soccer’s 2022 World Cup finals.

Joshua’s purse from that Ruiz rematch was reportedly around £60million before deductions. And Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum expects the two Britons to take home around $100million each from this summer’s unification match.

Fury vs Joshua deal close

Fury and Joshua agreed in principle the financial structure for a two-fight deal last June. Contracts are being reviewed right now and the fight is expected to be signed in the next two weeks. Then promoters will move on to finalising the venue and of course those all-important TV rights.

It’s expected Sky Sports Box Office and BT Sport Box Office will both air the bout in the UK on pay-per-view. No price has yet been finalised.