Site approved for Joshua-Fury summer fight, reveals promoter Hearn

By Sports Desk April 15, 2021

Eddie Hearn has revealed Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have agreed on a location for a summer showdown between the two heavyweight world champions.

The rivals have a deal in place to face each other twice in 2021, though a venue and date had yet to be agreed for the first meeting.

However, having said recently he planned to present "three or four" options to both teams, Matchroom promoter Hearn confirmed on Thursday that a site has been approved and negotiations are "in a great place", having sat down with Fury while the pair have been in Las Vegas.

Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO titles, while the unbeaten Fury is the WBC champion after dethroning Deontay Wilder last year.

"I don't want to talk too much about it because I think people are bored of me talking," Hearn said in an interview with Behind The Gloves.

"All I will tell you – which I haven't said to anyone yet – is that both sides have approved the site offer they want to go with. Now we are just finalising the site deal and we are in a great place.

"I saw Tyson yesterday. We had five or 10 minutes together – and it was good.

"I don't represent Tyson, so I don't know what is in his mind. What he basically cemented in my mind is that this is the only fight he wants. I know that is the same with AJ.

"We've got the offer, we all approve and we are moving forward now. We're good. I'm not going to go into where it is going to be held, but it has been agreed by both sides over the option we will take. You will get the date very soon, plus the official announcement."

Hearn also made clear that the original plan still remains in place, meaning a bout midway through 2021 will be followed by a rematch before the end of the year.

"There is no option for this fight to go at the back end of the year," Hearn said.

"That's been the hardest thing about securing the site deal ... in this world we live in today, most people would like to kick it to November or December. That's not available. It was never available.

"What was available was a summer fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship. That is what you’re going to get.

"Both guys want two fights this year – one will be in the summer, one will be in December. That's the plan."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said last week that the English capital is ready to host the lucrative fight, despite the restrictions in the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Fury's most recent three bouts have all been staged in Las Vegas while Joshua reclaimed his titles from Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch held in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.

The 2012 Olympic gold medal winner fought once in 2020, with Joshua beating Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena in front of a restricted number of fans.

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    Fury's camp want Anthony Joshua to step aside from his planned rematch with Oleksandr Usyk after the latter's triumph in September.

    That would allow Fury to go up against the Ukrainian in a heavyweight unification bout.

    The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Joshua had agreed to forego the rematch and receive a £15million payout in return.

    However, Joshua denied the claims a deal had been struck. Should nothing be agreed by Wednesday, then purse bids with Dillian Whyte – the WBC mandatory challenger – will go ahead, with that lined up as Fury's next fight instead.

    In a video posted to his official social media channels on Tuesday, Fury, who defeated Deontay Wilder last year in the final fight of their trilogy contest, made it clear that he had had enough of waiting.

    "Another gym session done, Tuesday morning smashed," the 33-year-old said.

    "Tick tick tick effing tick tock is the subject of today. Is Dillian Whyte going to fight me? Is Anthony Joshua going to step aside?

    "Let me know. Because I am sick of looking at these bums, sick of listening to their excuses.

    "Tick tick tock. The time has run out of the bottle. You're all getting a good hiding – cowards."

    Usyk, who is two years older than Fury, has won all 19 of his professional fights, including 13 knockouts.

    Fury's record stands at 33 victories and one draw – the contentious first fight against Wilder in 2018.

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    The alleged agreement was reported by The Telegraph on Sunday, claiming Joshua would forego a rematch with Usyk for the three heavyweight title belts he lost to the Ukrainian in September. 

    Such a move would allow Usyk to instead take on Fury in a huge unification bout. 

    Promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports he has a meeting planned with Joshua to discuss "a number of proposals and options", but the British fighter has dismissed talk of a £15m deal. 

    Indeed, Joshua, describing himself as "the man who handles my business", also revealed frustrations at some of the reporting around his situation. 

    In widely reported quotes, he said: "You know what's bad about all these interviews I see? 

    "I see certain interviews that quote what I said, and I think to myself: 'I ain't done no interviews. Where did this person get this information from?' 

    "I'm hearing people saying, 'AJ accepts £15m to step aside'. I ain't signed no contract, I ain't seen no contract. 

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    Anthony Joshua has "a number of proposals" to consider amid reports he could step aside from a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk in order for Tyson Fury to fight the Ukrainian.

    Usyk outclassed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to claim his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.

    The Brit activated a clause to step into the ring with Usyk for a second time, but The Daily Telegraph revealed he could step aside for a fee of £15million to pave the way for his compatriot Fury to do battle with the 35-year-old in a unification bout in the Middle East.

    Eddie Hearn, Joshua's promoter, revealed the 2012 Olympic champion has several options to mull over.

    "I'm meeting with AJ and 258 management [on Tuesday] to go through plans for his next fight." he told Sky Sports.

    "We have a number of proposals and options to discuss. The goal remains the same of course - to re-capture the world heavyweight crown."

    Fury has not agreed a mandatory defence of his WBC strap with Dillian Whyte.

    Usyk's promoter, Alexander Krassyuk, says it is up in the air over which Englishman will be his fighter's next opponent.

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