Eddie Hearn says bout between AJ and Tyson Fury should be signed soon
REVEALED: Eddie Hearn believes two-fight deal for Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s £200m heavyweight showdown ‘should be signed in three or four weeks’ – and first bout could arrive as early as May
- Eddie Hearn says contracts for the highly anticipated contest are being finalised
- The first bout of two-fight deal is slated for May/June once agreement is in place
- First fight is likely to be overseas but Hearn hopes second bout will be in the UK
- Deontay Wilder is in contact with Tyson Fury’s team over his right to a third fight
The £200million mega fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury should be signed within the next three or four weeks, AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn said on Friday.
Though Hearn dismissed the recent claim made by Bob Arum – Fury’s co-promoter – that a venue had been agreed, the Matchroom chief insists only contractual quibbles stand in the way of the heavyweight showdown.
The first bout of their two-fight deal is slated for late May or early June and once an agreement is in place, both teams will explore around 10 interested overseas venues – from Australia to Eastern Europe – in the hope that the coronavirus landscape will soon become clearer.
A two-fight deal for a heavyweight unification between Anthony Joshua (left) and fellow Brit Tyson Fury (right) is weeks away from being signed, according to promoter Eddie Hearn
‘We will say, hopefully in the next three or four weeks: deal done, everybody’s on board and signed,’ Hearn said.
‘Talks are progressing, it’s going really well, we’re drafting contracts and I think, really, if someone said to me: “How long do you think?” I’d say in the next four weeks – that’s when the deal will get closed.
‘We’re in a position now where everything is being finalised in the contractual sense, then we will go to the venues where we’ve had offers and say: “OK, now we’re looking to negotiate and finalise that”.’
Hearn had said after AJ beat Kubrat Pulev in December that the bulk of the deal could be done in just two days.
The promoter maintains that neither broadcasting battles nor Deontay Wilder will prevent the fight from going ahead – Sky, BT, DAZN and ESPN all have stakes in the heavyweight champions, while Wilder is in mediation with Team Fury over his right to a third fight.
But with so much money – and all four world titles – on the line, the promoter expects wrangling over the contract’s finer details to drag on.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua vs Fury should be confirmed in ‘three or four weeks’
‘The deal is done, really, without being signed,’ he said. ‘The financial elements of the deal are done, we’re talking through the broadcast situation, the only thing really now is to paper it, which is what’s going on at the moment, and when you paper a deal like that it does go back and forward 15 times before every single letter is approved on the document.’
He added: ‘I don’t think the deal is taking longer, I think the contract is taking longer, if that make sense.
‘So I’m confident we have the basis of a deal in place but we don’t have a signed contract yet, and that is something which – over Christmas, with people in and out of the office – has probably taken a little bit longer than I expected and I know that everyone is going to want this absolutely perfect before we announce.’
The fight is likely to end up in the Middle East but Hearn said they have held talks in Australia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Eastern Europe, and America.
Hearn doesn’t believe Deontay Wilder (left) will be successful in getting third fight with Fury
‘We’ve had a lot of other interesting approaches from territories that we might not have thought were players in this fight but I believe they are,’ he said.
‘We’ll collectively go out and speak to these sites we’ve had approaches from and look to do the best deal for the fighters – not just from a financial perspective but from a logistical point of view as well. And everything is changing – one country is all of a sudden coming out of the pandemic, they’re really aggressive, they’ve got a lot of money for tourism, they want to say: “We’re back”.
‘Then two weeks later they go into a lockdown so it’s very difficult at the moment to move with that much confidence or certainty and it’s not a great time to be discussing international sporting events but we’re at that period – end of May, early June – where people are a lot more confident that there’ll be in a better place to stage it.’
Hearn hopes the second fight will end up on these shores later in 2021, with a roof making Cardiff’s Principality Stadium the only realistic option. A decision on that will wait, however, ‘unless there’s a two-fight deal do be done with the same venue.’
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