The long-awaited heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will take place in 2021 boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
The British pair hold three of the four main heavyweight championships and have been locked in discussions over a possible unification blockbuster.
Speaking to Sky Sports News on Wednesday, Hearn who promotes Joshua’s bouts told the network that a deal has been struck for two blockbuster Joshua vs Fury clashes.
“We’re making great progress,” Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports News. “There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates.
“We have the Dillian Whyte mandatory which is due before this fight.
“It’s fair to say [Joshua and Fury] are in agreement regarding the financial terms of the fight.
“We’ve been talking to [Fury’s management team] MTK, giving them the assurances from Joshua’s side that all the details on the structure of the deal is approved from our side. And it is from Fury’s side, as well.
“We’re in a good place. It’s fair to say that, in principle, both guys have agreed to that fight. Two fights.
“[There’s] a lot to overcome in the meantime. We’re moving in the right direction. I’m confident that both guys have given their blessing for the fight to go ahead.
“The point of Fury, Joshua and the teams agreeing to the structure of the deal? The first fight could happen next summer. It will be 2021.
“There is a big period of time where Whyte should get his shot at the title. That’s important to us.
“The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence.
“The most difficult part of any deal is the financial element. I believe we’re in a great place where both guys have agreed to what that should be.
“We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out.
“We’re pushing towards a place where they can be drafted, for 2021.
“Both guys are in agreement. The structure of the deal has been put forward, and agreed to by both parties.
“There is a model in place that both parties are happy with.
“It’s the biggest fight ever in British boxing. It doesn’t get bigger, and there will never be a bigger fight in our generation.
“Two guys, very different, who fight differently, have experienced different things and have come back from adversity.”
Joshua, 30, regained his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles with a unanimous decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr in a December rematch in Saudi Arabia while Fury won the WBC title in Las Vegas two months ago with a seventh-round stoppage of Deontay Wilder.
No fighter has ever held all four main heavyweight titles.
However, before the undisputed title fight can take place, Fury would have to honour a rematch with Deontay Wilder for a third time and Joshua will meet mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
Asked about a possible location for the Joshua vs Fury fight, Hearn added: “There are discussions with various sites.
“From a common-sense point of view and without knowing how a deal works, everyone will say Britain is the place to hold the fight.
“But it is the world heavyweight championship – there will be all sorts of offers from across the world, and there have been already.
“The venue is another obstacle to overcome.”
Joshua had previously said a mega-fight for the undisputed world heavyweight title with Fury “needs to happen” to determine the division’s single dominant figure.
“If you really want to say you’re number one, come fight me. Let’s get it on. I’ve got the rest of the belts so it only makes sense,” Joshua told Sky Sports, addressing fellow Briton Fury.
“I’m the unified heavyweight champion of the world, he’s the WBC champion. What it will prove, me and him fighting? There will be one dominant figure in the heavyweight division that will have all of the belts and become undisputed.
“Logically to prove yourself as number one, I have to fight Tyson Fury. He has to fight Anthony Joshua.”