By Mark Elezaj
According to numerous reports earlier last week, Tyson Fury, the WBC and lineal heavyweight champion’s team was negotiating a potential unification fight against heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum stated that he is waiting on the financials to see if the Joshua vs Fury fight would take place in Saudi Arabia.
“Let’s see what type of offers we get from the Middle East,” Arum said, “because there is a real frenzy with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, with the Emirates, to do events, to open up these countries in the winter and into next year. It would be foolish for us to not consider those types of offers.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport promoter, has rejected the reports of any negotiations taking place between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua for a unification title fight in the Middle East in December.
The IBF/WBA//WBO champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KO’s) is under contract to face IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) next, and Fury is still under contract to face Deontay Wilder.
“Last night, I had a call from ESPN asking me that sources tell them that negotiations are underway, and I just told them, ‘Negotiations aren’t underway.’ That’s the first thing,” said Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing on a fight between Joshua and Fury.
“We (Joshua) have a contract to fight Kubrat Pulev next, and Tyson Fury has a contract to fight Deontay Wilder next.
“Obviously, with everything that’s happened, I believe there’s keenness from Anthony Joshua and our team and keenness from the sides of Tyson Fury and his team to go straight into that fight potentially. There is, like I said, the major hurdle of we’re both under contract for other fights.
“So firstly, there are no negotiations that have taken place. Those negotiations can’t take place until we know that Deontay Wilder will step aside, and Kubrat Pulev will step aside. Everything is tolerable with money,” said Hearn.
According to Hearn, offers have been coming in to stage a possible Joshua vs. Fury fight.
“What has been happening is, we’ve had a number of approaches from territories asking and inquiring and making offers to stage that fight,” said Hearn on Fury vs. Joshua. “Ourselves and MTK have been in discussions looking at the offers for when that fight can take place.
“Initially, we were looking in fighting on June the 20th, Fury against Wilder was July. We all planned to make this fight in December. Now could we go straight into a fight in December? Will we even have the opportunity to have a live audience in December? Maybe not.
“As we stand right now, our next fight and AJ’s next fight is Kubrat Pulev, and Fury’s next fight is Deontay Wilder. Could a deal be struck for them to step aside? Absolutely. Would we be willing to entertain it? Absolutely. But right now, the focus is on the contracts we have signed with a move for the winners to fight the winners probably in Spring 2021,” said Hearn.
Hearn does want Joshua vs. Fury to happen in the UK if and when it does happen.
“I think the ambition from these people will be even higher,” said Hearn when asked if Saudi Arabia will still want to host the Joshua vs. Fury fight.
“To be honest, it’s not really about Saudi Arabia. We’ve had two other offers coming from other territories as well.
“We don’t know which territory now will be allowed to implement a live audience before the countries. If you look at territories like New Zealand and Australia, it looks like there are zero cases in New Zealand and very few in Australia. So there’s going to be some countries that are going to start this up sooner than others.
“For me, we would love to bring AJ against Fury to the UK. Right now, especially in December, that doesn’t look like a possibility. So while I would love to tell you that we’re in negotiations and it’s close, what we’re doing is talking, and we’re all moving in the right direction.
“We all have the same mindset, which is to create the biggest fight in boxing history between two British champions fighting for the undisputed heavyweight championship. You will get this fight. It’s just a case of when and where,” said Hearn on the Joshua vs. Fury unification match.
As far as Fury is concerned, he told ESPN, “I’ll fight in Timbuktu if the money’s right. I have a bag, and I will travel.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~