Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will get the chance to unify their heavyweight titles in 2021 after they agreed to financial terms on a two-fight deal for next year.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, told ESPN that the fighters have agreed to the monetary aspects of the two-fight series, but that they have yet to sign a contract.
Fury Opens as Favorite vs. Joshua in Unification Bout
Both sides must come to terms on a number of details, including venues and dates for the fights. Fury promoter Frank Warren told Metro.co.uk that the first fight would feature a 50/50 split for the fighters. The winner would enjoy a 60/40 split for the rematch, according to BoxingScene.com.
“The hardest part is to agree to the financial element of the deal,” Hearn told ESPN. “We have agreed with Tyson Fury and the team, and we can now move forward with finalizing the smaller parts of the deal. The good news for fight fans is that we have agreed to do the two fights, and we can now go and dot the I’s and cross the T’s.”
Fury took to Twitter to confirm the deal.
MASSIVE THANKS TO DANIEL KINNERHAN FOR MAKING THIS HAPPEN.🙏🏻👍🏻 god bless pic.twitter.com/18FfVKfCax
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) June 10, 2020
“I got to smash [Deontay Wilder] first then I’ll annihilate [Anthony Joshua],” Fury wrote. “Massive thanks to [Fury advisor Daniel Kinahan] for making this happen.”
Some bookmakers have already posted odds on a potential fight between the two champions. BetMGM lists Fury as a -186 favorite over Joshua (+150).
Warren: Nothing Official Despite Announcement
Both boxers must overcome obstacles before they can fight each other. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) must face mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte (27-1, 18 KOs) in early 2021, while Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) will likely defend his crown against Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) at some point in the near future. Joshua planned to face Pulev in a mandatory defense on June 20, but those plans were scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fury and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) have also talked about fighting for a third time.
“It’s set, but we’re looking for the site,” Top Rank Boxing’s Bob Arum told ESPN, speaking of a third Fury-Joshua bout. “Will we be able to do it for the spectators, even partially, in the United States? If not, can we do it with spectators in Macao or Australia? That’s what we’re exploring now.”
While Hearn’s announcement will excite boxing fans, Warren cautioned that the statement might be a bit overblown.
“There is nothing signed and nothing new agreed,” Warren said. “We all know it’s going to be a two-fight deal if it happens, we’ve talked about that already. But that’s it! There’s nothing else … Eddie just can’t help himself.”
If Fury and Joshua do meet in the ring, there’s potential for this matchup to become the biggest fight in British boxing history. Fury currently holds the WBC and lineal heavyweight championships, while Joshua has the WBO, WBA, and IBF titles. If the two enter a fight while still holding all of the major belts, the outcome could produce the first unified heavyweight boxing champion in more than two decades, when Lennox Lewis accomplished the feat by defeating Evander Holyfield in 1999.