THE biggest fight in British boxing history between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury has been signed – with just the venue to be confirmed.
Eddie Hearn announced today that the contracts had been penned by both camps for two bumper unification clashes – with EIGHT potential locations mentioned to stage it.
Fury, 32, recently vented his frustration at the contracts not being signed – admitting he has stopped eating and training – while drinking up to 12 pints of beer per day – putting his blockbuster bout with AJ in serious jeopardy.
But now the fight has finally been CONFIRMED with Joshua, 31, and Fury going toe-to-toe twice later this year in a deal worth a staggering £200million.
Hearn – Joshua's promoter – confirmed the good news saying the 'hard part' is now over and done with.
But Hearn now says it is just the venue that needs to be decided – and they are not short of offers.
AJ’s Matchroom chief said: “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.
“This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself.”
The promoter does not believe the UK is a viable option despite Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown planning to remove restrictions as early as June 21.
CHELTENHAM SPECIAL OFFER – GET THE FIRST RACE FAVOURITE AT HUGE 50/1 PRICE
Speaking to iFL TV, he recently said: “When you talk about the venue that is starting to move because we’re in a position time-wise where we’ve had to move.
“So, your next question is ‘where is it going to be?’ Well the answer to your question is it’s still wide open, but we are much further down the line than we were a week ago because we’ve had to speed that process up.
“Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, China, London, Las Vegas.
"Can you really sit there with confidence and say we’re going to be allowed 100,000 people in June in Wembley? You’ve answered the question.
“I don’t like to give people false hopes. I saw Bob’s interview. ‘Yeah, Wembley is an option, Vegas is an option’ – I don’t believe that. I don’t believe it is.
“Do you honestly think Bob Arum gives a monkeys about the UK fans? I mean come on. You’ve seen the comments about his fighters lately.
“Ultimately, they’re going to say to us ‘where can we generate the most money to hold this fight?’ Let’s not beat around the bush. And ultimately it’s going to be up to AJ and Tyson Fury to say ‘yep, we’re happy with that venue’.
“If you asked everybody myself, Frank Warren,Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua where they would like to do this fight, it’s Wembley, of course it is.
"But one, I don’t think that’s possible and two, we can’t ignore the fact this is the biggest fight in boxing, it’s going to generate so much interest, so much money, we can’t just ignore that fact."
Here is all you need to know about the potential locations speculated on by Hearn:
Joshua fought Andy Ruiz Jr in Diriyah at the end of 2019, but the venue – the Diriyah Arena – was purpose-built and taken down immediately after the Brit reclaimed his belts.
However, Fury has also entertained in Saudi Arabia when he fought Braun Strowman in WWE's Crown Jewel event 18 months ago.
The Gypsy King wowed the 70,000-strong crowd at the King Fahd International Stadium, a potential venue for the Fury-Joshua clash.
Last month, restrictions in Saudi were extended for another 20 days.
It means that events, parties, weddings and corporate meetings should not exceed 20 people.
And there is no certainty as to whether restrictions will be lifted come the summer.
The Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar could well stage the Fury-Joshua super-fight.
With a capacity of 48,000 people, Hearn and co may well feel it is suitable for the heavyweight clash.
Coronavirus restrictions in Qatar currently include public transport, cinemas and gyms working at 30 per cent capacity, while offices are at 80 per cent capacity.
When it comes to Fury-Joshua taking place in the UAE, The Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium may emerge as the location.
It is currently home to Emirati football club Al Jazira Club and the UAE national team.
The venue can hold 42,000 people and has played host to football and cricket matches since opening in 1980.
Coronavirus restrictions mean those travelling to the UAE will have to return a negative Covid test less than 96 hours before departure.
The Singapore National Stadium holds 55,000 people and could well be in the running to stage Joshua-Fury.
Most shops and restaurants are open in Singapore, but social distancing is still taking place.
This means under current measures a mass event such as Fury-Joshua would not be able to take place.
Fury's promoter Bob Arum has discussed the idea of staging a fight in China in the past.
Arum has previously named gambling hotspot Macau as a possible location for a big heavyweight dust-up.
The likely venue in Macau would be the Centro Desportivo Olimpico, which holds more than 16,000 people.
In terms of coronavirus restrictions, there is testing for people attending social gatherings of more than 400 people and those flying in from abroad will be required to quarantine if they are not already on the banned list.
If the fight takes place in the UK, then it will happen at Wembley Stadium.
Joshua has headlined the famous venue on two occasions, against Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin, while Fury is yet to fight there.
The major stumbling block of the fight taking place in Britain remains the coronavirus restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to remove all restrictions by June 21, but that date could be pushed back if the government's criteria is not met.
Fury's last three fights have all taken place in Las Vegas, including his sensational win over Deontay Wilder in February of last year.
The likely venue in Vegas would be the MGM Grand, a famous boxing arena that has staged some of the most iconic clashes ever.
Vegas authorities are hoping to re-open entertainment establishments as early as May 1, so coronavirus restrictions may not be a problem.
The number of daily new cases in Nevada currently stands at less than 400, the lowest since September.
Hearn has now also thrown Eastern Europe out there as one of the potential locations.
It remains to be confirmed exactly whereabouts he means, but Russia would be the most-likely option.
Source: Read Full Article