Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have taken a major step toward meeting in the ring, according to Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn.
Hearn said the heavyweight titleholders on Saturday signed a deal to fight twice this year, which would unify all four major titles unless one of them loses a belt outside the ring. The site and date have not been settled.
A source at Top Rank, Fury’s co-promoter, told ESPN that signatures on paper don’t necessarily mean the fights will happen.
“It’s pending, finding a site and a date that’s acceptable to both [fighters],” the source said. “We have 30 days from the signing, or the deal could go away.”
Hearn sounds optimistic that those details will be worked out.
“We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month,” he said. “The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper. But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters.”
Hearn went on: “I actually feel we’ve done the hard part. Speaking for myself, Anthony and his team at 258 management (258 MGT), I know how hard we’ve worked these last couple of months and I just feel that this fight is so big it’s not a difficult sell.
“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.”
A site in the Middle East might be the favorite to land the fight given the money available for a site fee. The Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. rematch reportedly fetched a $40 million-plus fee.
ESPN reported that the fighters will split the purse 50-50 in the first fight. The winner would receive 60% in the rematch.