Joshua, Fury Ink Deal Ahead Planned Epic Showdown

by Duke Magazine

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have signed a contract to fight for the right to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion.

Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn made the announcement on Monday and said a two-fight deal have been signed.

Joshua will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO belts against WBC champion Fury, with a date and venue to be confirmed.

The all British fight will see all four belts fought for in a heavyweight bout for the first time.

Joshua through his boxing career has had 24 wins and one defeat from 25 professional fights, but lost his three world titles in a shocking defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019 before eventually regaining them in a rematch.

Meanwhile, Fury has been unbeaten in 31 professional fights, but hasn’t fought since outclassing Deontay Wilder in February 2020.

“This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world,” Hearn said. “It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself.” 

Hearn added: “We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month. The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper. But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line.”

In recent weeks, Hearn has cited Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, China, London and Las Vegas among potential host locations. The prospect of England holding the fight, however, has been dampened by apparent concerns around the Government’s roadmap towards fully releasing lockdown.

The controversial location of Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by Amnesty International of “sportswashing” following human rights abuses, has been described by Hearn as a “definite possibility”. “Saudi just did Formula E and the golf. They are not slowing down the development of sport,” he said last week.

Joshua, 31, beat Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in December 2020 to retain his IBF, WBO and WBA titles and set up the prospect of a clash with fellow Briton Fury. The winner will be the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Britain’s Lennox Lewis in 2000, before a boxer had to also hold the WBO belt to be recognized as undisputed.

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