(CNN)Heavyweight boxing champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are finally set to face each other in the ring, according to multiple media outlets.
The fighters have signed a contract to meet in a pair of matches expected to take place in 2021, ESPN reported.
Joshua holds the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight belts while Fury holds the WBC heavyweight title.
The fighters, both from England, have been circling each other for some time but have never met in the ring.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, reportedly confirmed to Sky Sports and ESPN that the fight is on, telling Sky Sports, “All parties have now put pen to paper and we will be working hard over the next few weeks to confirm the site and date for the biggest fight in boxing.”
ESPN reports that a source with Top Rank, which is Fury’s American promoter, says that all parties have 30 days to agree on a location and a date or the deal could be off.
A source with Top Rank confirmed those details to CNN and said that a formal announcement will be made as soon as all parties finalize the deal.
None of the other organizers of the reported two-fight agreement have responded to CNN’s questions when asked to confirm the details.
Boxing: Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury to face off in two blockbuster fights next year
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been negotiating with Fury’s management for several weeks and he said the terms were in place for the fighters.
British heavyweight world champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have agreed in principle to meet in two blockbuster fights, according to both camps on Wednesday.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has been negotiating with Fury’s management for several weeks and he said the terms were in place for the fighters to go head to head.
No contracts have been signed yet, but Hearn expects WBA, IBF and WBO belt holder Joshua to face WBC champion Fury to determine the undisputed king of the heavyweight scene in 2021.
“We’re making great progress. There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“We’re in a good place,” he added. “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 blessings for the fight to go ahead.”
Hearn said the first bout could happen in the summer of 2021. Joshua is due to fight Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev next, while Fury, 31, has a rematch due with American Deontay Wilder.
‘Smash Wilder’s face’
“The biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed. Two-fight deal. Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua next year,” Fury said on Instagram.
“I’ve got to smash Deontay Wilder’s face right in in my next fight and then we go into the Joshua fight next year.”
Joshua, 30, is still on course to face Pulev despite injuring his knee during a recent training run. He was seen with a knee brace and crutches during a Black Lives Matter protest at the weekend.
But even if both Fury and Joshua win their next bouts there may yet be a further delay before they meet in the ring as the WBC have said Dillian Whyte must fight for their version of the heavyweight title before the end of February 2021.
Hearn though said both the Joshua and Fury camps had “approved the structure” of the proposed deal.
“We have the Dillian Whyte mandatory which is due before this fight,” Hearn added.
“[But] 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.
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Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte will demand $27 million to step aside and allow Tyson Fury to fight Oleksandr Usyk.
Fury has opened talks for an undisputed world heavyweight showdown with Usyk in the Middle East.
However, the fight will only go ahead if his next scheduled opponents, Whyte and Joshua respectively, are paid millions of pounds to step aside.
Organizing a roster to face the winner could be a big problem. Joshua will be offered $20 million to step aside and Whyte $6 million.
Joshua, 32, has activated his clause for a rematch with Usyk, 35, for the WBA, IBF and WBO belts he lost to the Ukrainian in September.
Mandatory challenger Whyte, 33, is in a legal battle with the WBC over the purse split for his title fight against Fury, 33.
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Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed: “There are people who would like to see Fury take on Usyk for the undisputed title, and they would be willing to pay a lot of money for it.
“If there is a lot of money in the pot, and a plan put in place to make all the fighters happy, then there is a chance it can happen. The problem is time. Conversations started a month ago – but they are very complex,” he said.
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Fury’s American promoter Bob Arum told talkSPORT: “It’s total chaos.”
“What’s happening is just promises coming out of the Middle East about making a unified fight with Usyk and Fury, and it’s Dillian Whyte is going to step aside”, he added.
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The Mexican-American fighter, Andy Ruiz is confident that ‘Canelo’ Alvarez can “give more” and even win if there is a rematch against Russian Dmitry Bivol, who defeated him last May 7 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Andy Ruiz’s words
“I’m sure that in the rematch ‘Canelo’ can do more things and can win,” said Andy Ruiz to FightHype.
In this fight, Alvarez ventured for the second time in the semi-complete category (175 pounds), although after 12 rounds, he took the loss by unanimous decision. However, for many like Andy Ruiz, ‘Canelo’ is still the same great reference in world boxing.
“Canelo is still the champion. He took the risk to move up to 175 pounds, not many people do that. He has the balls to keep doing that. Canelo is still the champion, the people’s champion and he’s working hard,” said Ruiz.
However, the fight against Bivol will have to wait
‘Canelo’ vs. ‘GGG’ III
This Monday, ‘Canelo’ confirmed that he will face Gennady Golovkyn on the occasion of the Mexican national holidays, thus completing the trilogy.
“Surely yes (it will be against Golovkin), we already had that fight. We have to continue what we started and I think they are the two most important fights in boxing (the third against GGG and the rematch with Bivol),” commented ‘Canelo’ at a press conference.
This fight could be organized in Mexico and it is thought to be in Mexico City or Guadalajara. What is a fact is that the Kazakh is in the mind of ‘Canelo’ and in the next few days the fight against Golovkin will be made official.
On the other hand, the considered best pound for pound, would organize the rematch against Russian Dmitry Bivol for the end of this year, although nothing has been confirmed yet.
Eddie Hearn promises Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury this year after Deontay Wilder win
Eddie Hearn has promised to make a fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury happen in 2020.
Fury produced a masterclass to stop Deontay Wilder in the seventh round in Las Vegas and claim the WBC heavyweight crown.
It opens up the mouth-watering prospect of a clash with WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua to determine the undisputed king of the most lucrative division in boxing.
Joshua is set to defend his belts against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham’s new stadium on June 20 whilst Fury will wait to see if Wilder will activate his immediate rematch clause within the next 30 days.
A mock-up of Tyson Fury taking on Anthony Joshua ( Image: DAZN)
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But immediately after witnessing Fury’s sensational showing, Hearn took to Twitter to insist a bout with his man Joshua will happen.
He initially wrote: “Wow unbelievable from Fury! Fair play and well done Sugar Hill and Andy Lee on first class game plan.”
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He then responded to a fan who said: “Not a chance Eddie Hearn is letting Joshua anywhere near Tyson now” by stating: “Of course I am! And AJ wants it bad..this fight is gonna and has to happen this year!”
Anthony Joshua celebrates with promoter Eddie Hearn ( Image: Action Images via Reuters)
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He then claimed there is no need for a trilogy between Wilder and Fury as he called for him to make a fight with Joshua happen this summer.
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He wrote: “No need for a third let’s go straight to it in the Summer! #undisputed”
He later added on Instagram: “Brilliant performance from Fury – all the belts are in the UK, no-one wants Fury v Wilder III, let’s go straight to AJ vs Fury.”
Speaking ahead of the Fury vs Wilder rematch, Hearn claimed the winner would be unable to avoid a clash with Joshua in 2020.
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“For sure, the winner needs to face Joshua,” said the Matchroom MD.
“Someone who has one belt can’t say they are No.1 over someone who has three belts.
“There is no question in the world that Joshua has a better resume than those guys, particularly Deontay Wilder.
Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua Will Happen Promoter Warren Vows
Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has promised to ensure fans’ yearning for a unification bout with Anthony Joshua happens this year telling the BBC that “we will make it happen” in response to fans’ wishes.
All heavyweight titles now reside in Britain for the first time in history after Fury, 31, stunned Deontay Wilder, 34, on Sunday to claim the WBC title.
Joshua, whose last fight was in Saudi Arabia, holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had earlier stated his wish to make the fight happen in the aftermath of Fury’s stunning 7th round stoppage of Wilder and reiterated his stance on Monday.
“Of course we want to see the fight,” Warren told BBC Sport. “We’ve been trying to make it for two years.”
“Hearn kept saying was it’s got to be 70/30 [the purse] in favour of AJ and so on and so fourth.
“The tables have turned now. I have no problem with 50/50. I think Tyson would deserve more but 50/50, no problem.
“This is about the boxers and more importantly the fans. If they want to see the fight we will make it happen.
“In the meantime, Eddie Hearn is acting like the guy standing outside your house with his nose pressed up against the window and keeps spouting off about Tyson.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn speaking to Sky Sports on Monday said he would do everything possible to agree a deal, and both sides would be “clowns” and “idiots” if the fight which could be the biggest in the history of the sport failed to hold.
“Everybody is very clear on this. Everybody wants this fight — Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, MTK, Top Rank, Frank Warren, Matchroom,” said Hearn, referring to those involved on both sides.
“There are some hurdles to overcome on the broadcasting, but nothing too much.
“I promise you this fight will happen.”
Any prospects of a fight between the British heavyweights hinges on the fact Wilder has the option of a rematch with Fury and has 30 days to invoke a clause in his contract.
Hearn says if that happens then Joshua, 30, will face Kubrat Pulev in a mandatory IBF bout, with the promoter in talks to hold the fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 20 June.
Tyson Fury admits he was ‘wounded’ by Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk with £200m super-fight in doubt
Tyson Fury was left “absolutely wounded” by Anthony Joshua’s defeat to Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua relinquished his heavyweight belts following a unanimous points decision at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, leaving the prospect of his £200million super-fight against Fury in major doubt.
Fury, who fights Deontay Wilder next week, said: “Did I watch the fight? Yes, I did. Was I absolutely wounded that he won? Yes, I was. I was hoping Joshua could win the fight but he couldn’t.”
Joshua is set for a rematch against the new champion in February or March time, with the UK the preferred location for the fight. Victory would inevitably pave the way for the Fury double header.
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But Fury said: “The only thing I’m bothered about is beating Deontay Wilder and that’s the most dangerous heavyweight out there. In my opinion, Wilder beats Joshua, Usyk, all the rest of the division, comfortable but he cannot beat me.”
Of Joshua’s chances of beating Usyk, Fury said: “My advice to Joshua in the rematch is get stuck in the best way he knows how, put his best foot forward and swing away, Jack, swing away.
“But I don’t care about anybody else – they are not on my radar only the Bronze Bomber aka the big dosser. After him, we will talk, the promoters will do their job, and I will always do mine. When I beat Wilder, I’ll be on to the next one.”
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