By: Hans Themistode
The negotiations felt as though they would continue forever. Promoter’s Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum claimed for months that a deal between unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Ring magazine titlist Tyson Fury was nearly complete.
However, after months of dragging their feet through the mud, discussions appeared to be hitting a wall as Fury recently came out and said he was no longer training and Deontay Wilder could be his next opponent.
But just as boxing fans became worrisome over the entire ordeal, Hearn has officially stated that both Joshua and Fury have signed a two-fight deal. A place and time haven’t been revealed just yet, but both big men have placed their names on the dotted line.
“The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper,” said Hearn. “But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters. We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month.”
While there isn’t a clear-cut favorite in terms of where the fight will take place, Hearn has revealed that there are numerous countries all across the world in the running.
“We’ve already had approaches from eight or nine sites. The offers have come from multiple countries in the Middle East, from Asia, eastern Europe and America. It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself.”
Joshua, 31, has done all that he can to help make this fight a reality. The former Olympic Gold medalist took care of his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in December of 2020, stopping the rugged contender in the ninth round. From there, Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) helped push his second mandatory title challenger in Oleksandr Usyk, to the back burner in order for his mega-fight with Fury to come to fruition.
By all accounts, Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) also took care of his side of the street. He truncated the title reign of former belt holder Deontay Wilder in February of 2020 and constantly pushed forward with the notion that the only fight he wanted next in his career was one with Joshua.
And while a location hasn’t been secured and an official date is still in flux, Hearn believes he can wipe the sweat from his brow as all of the heavy lifting is now over with. Now, like the rest of the world, Hearn can look forward to one of the biggest events in boxing history.
“I actually feel we’ve done the hard part. Speaking for myself, Anthony and his team at 258 management, I know how hard we’ve worked hard these last couple of months and I just feel that this fight is so big it’s not a difficult sell. This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world.”