Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua and all of their representatives have finally signed off on a two-fight deal.
ESPN’s Mark Kriegel reported Monday morning that all parties have signed a provision of services agreement for their two heavyweight title unification fights. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, and Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, have repeatedly told BoxingScene.com and other outlets in recent weeks that they had agreed upon all major deal points and were close to signing documents.
The date for their first fight hasn’t been determined. It likely will take place either late in June or within the first half of July, before the start of the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Several sites in the Middle East are under consideration. The parties cannot move forward with scheduling this huge heavyweight showdown until they secure funding from investors to pay Fury and Joshua, who agreed to a 50-50 purse split for their first fight.
“We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month,” Hearn told Kriegel for the story posted on ESPN.com. “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. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters.”
BT Sport (Fury), DAZN (Joshua), ESPN (Fury) and Sky Sports (Joshua) all are expected to be involved in televising and streaming what is being billed as the biggest fight in British boxing history.
Fury expressed frustration publicly last week because contracts had not been signed. Kriegel reported that all parties signed by Saturday.
The 32-year-old Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) hasn’t fought since he stopped previously unbeaten WBC champ Deontay Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch last February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) went to arbitration to try to enforce his contractual right to an immediate third fight with Fury, though that is not expected to prevent Joshua and Fury from fighting next.
The 31-year-old Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) fought December 12, when he knocked out Kubrat Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs) in the ninth round at Wembley Arena in London. Bulgaria’s Pulev (28-2, 14 KOs) was the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title.
Joshua also owns the IBO, WBA and WBO championships.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.