By: Hans Themistode
For a number of months now, fans were unsure what to believe. Seemingly every week, promoter Eddie Hearn would announce that a showdown between unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC/Ring Magazine titlist, Tyson Fury, was signed, sealed and delivered.
Yet, no matter how confident Hearn appeared to be, neither Joshua nor Fury would openly admit that their contest was a done deal. That is, until now.
“I have got some massive news,” said Fury on his Twitter account. “I have just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he told me this fight is 100 percent on August 14.”
With the winner between Joshua and Fury set to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis roughly two decades ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reportedly forked over a site fee of approximately $150 million.
Much like Joshua’s rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr. in December of 2019 which also took place in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom is set to construct an arena to host their showdown. In terms of where exactly it will take place, Riyadh has stepped forward as the official destination.
As negotiations appear to be complete, the monumental contest will seemingly clear the way for the rest of the heavyweight division to move forward.
Former WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder attempted to pursue a third showdown with Fury after settling for a draw in December of 2018 and a seventh-round stoppage defeat in February of 2020. The Alabama native enlisted the help of an arbitrator to legally force Fury to step into the ring with him again. However, with Fury dropping the news that his contest against Joshua will move forward, it appears as though Wilder will now head in another direction.
In addition to Wilder, both Joe Joyce and former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk will now move ahead with a showdown of their own. The heavyweight contenders stood patiently for Joshua and Fury to resolve their contract negotiations before attempting to orchestrate their own matchup. Once both sides officially come to an agreement, the winner will be awarded the WBO interim title and the mandatory position for the winner.
As for Fury, after sulking and threatening to pull out of their contest completely due to the snail-like nature of the negotiations, the British star is ecstatic over the opportunity to partake in what he feels, is the biggest event in history.
“All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, I repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time. This is going to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet Earth. Do not miss it.”
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