The long-awaited heavyweight title unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury appears ready to go, with Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, saying it will take place this August in Saudi Arabia.
Hearn told Sky Sports that organizers are still determining a final date, but that most of the specifics for the bout are in place.
Hearn turns to familiar Saudi partners
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) have clearly established themselves as the two biggest names in boxing’s heavyweight division. They are also both British fighters, a fact that could make this bout the biggest in UK history.
Fury currently holds the WBC title and claims the lineal heavyweight championship. Joshua holds the IBF, WBO, WBA, and IBO title belts.
According to Hearn, promoters are deciding between two dates for the bout.
“Aug. 7, Aug. 14, I think it’s a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia,” Hearn said to Sky Sports. “It’s the same people we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz … they delivered on every one of their promises last time. We’re ready to go.”
Joshua has recently taken to social media to complain about the lack of a finalized deal for a planned two-fight series with Fury. But Hearn says the deal should become official before long.
My fans are tired.
Your fans are tired.
We’re all tired of the talk.
Less talk. More action!@Tyson_Fury.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) May 10, 2021
“There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen this week,” Hearn said. “We’re not far away from their side and it is inevitable, but at the same time we’ve got to close the door on it.”
Hearn also expressed a preference for the Aug. 14 date, which would be after the end of the Summer Olympics.
“In terms of a global spectacle, it would make sense to go on the 14th,” Hearn said.
Undefeated Fury enters title fight as favorite
FanDuel Sportsbook lists Fury as a -174 favorite over Joshua (+138) for the proposed fight. Fury easily defeated Deontay Wilder in their February 2020 match and hasn’t stepped into the ring since. Joshua suffered a shocking loss to Andy Ruiz in June 2019, but dominated him in a rematch six months later. He knocked out challenger Kubrat Pulev in December 2020.
Fury’s emphatic win over Wilder – after an earlier draw between the two – made him the top-rated heavyweight on BoxRec. Sportsbooks have consistently made Fury a favorite over Joshua and Wilder since that win.
While Hearn said the August date is all but certain, there could be one stumbling block in Joshua’s camp. Coach Rob McCracken also trains the Great Britain boxing team for the Olympics in Tokyo, which might divide his time.
Still, Hearn says the wheeling and dealing is coming to an end.
“We’re in a state where people are getting frustrated,” Hearn said. “The deal is done. Now we’re on the finer details of the contract. At some point, people are going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith in this deal.”