Fury confirms August date for Joshua fight in Saudi Arabia

By Sports Desk May 16, 2021

Tyson Fury has announced his heavyweight showdown with Anthony Joshua is "100 per cent on" for August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

The respective teams for the two rivals have been involved in protracted negotiations over a unification fight, but it appears a date has now been agreed upon by both sides.

Joshua's IBF, WBA and WBO titles will be on the line in the bout, while the unbeaten Fury currently holds the WBC belt.

In a video posted on social media on Sunday, Fury made clear his delight as he confirmed the details for the bout, while he also promised to "smash" his fellow Briton when they finally face each other.

"I've got some massive news for you all, guys. I've just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he's told me that this fight is 100 per cent on," he said.

"August 14, 2021, summertime. All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I cannot wait, repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all time.

"This is going to be the biggest sporting event to grace planet Earth. Do not miss it. All eyes on us."

Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn revealed recently that organisers in Saudi Arabia plan to "shock the world" with a purpose-built venue for the much-anticipated bout.

Joshua has previously fought in Diriyah, beating Andy Ruiz Jr there in December 2019 to avenge the only loss of his professional career to date.

"They want to create something very, very special. Last time they built a stadium for the Andy Ruiz Jr fight in just seven weeks and it held 18,000," Hearn told Sky Sports.

"This will be a similar set-up. They have the opportunity to hold it indoors but they want to create something that will shock the world.

"They want to build a stadium just for this fight."

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    WBC champion Fury is eager to return to the ring by early 2022 following victory over Deontay Wilder in the trilogy fight between the pair in October.

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    "I think he'll make the decision to stick around and fight guys," Briggs, who was a two-time heavyweight champion, told Stats Perform. 

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    "I think that for us to cement his greatness, we need to see consistency. I think we need to see at least three to six wins from the guys in the top 10. 

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    The undefeated Fury has 31 wins to his name, with the only blotch on his record a contentious split-decision draw against Wilder in their first clash.

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    "What makes a champion is consistency, so we need six to 10 Larry Holmes style wins, Lennox Lewis style wins, staying busy. Lennox was a busy fighter. Lennox defended his title, he fought a lot.

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    Indeed, Usyk is a phenomenal machine, having held world champion status in two weight classes while he is one of only four boxers to simultaneously hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles.

    Briggs, who collected 53 of his 60 wins via knockout, appreciates the class of Usyk as he reiterated the 34-year-old's impressive abilities.

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    "On top of all of that, he's a southpaw. It's awkward, it's coming from another way. You've got to have super conditioning and step to him. 

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