TYSON FURY has said his mega-fight with Anthony Joshua is on.
This is a significant statement, even if it’s not the first time this heavyweight unification clash has been announced. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, has insisted repeatedly that the bout is about to be signed. What Fury has done is underscore that there is an agreed date, August 14, and location, Saudi Arabia.
“Got some massive news for you all, I just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia, he told me this fight is 100% on, August 14, 2021, summer time,” Fury said. “All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I cannot wait to, repeat cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all times. This is going to be to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet earth. Do not miss it, all eyes on us.”
Saudia Arabia is a controversial location for two British heavyweights to fight for all four major title belts, the first undisputed heavyweight bout of the four-belt era. But clearly they are offering enough financing to bring both sides into alignment. There had been concern from Fury’s camp about sufficient guarantees, but Tyson’s most recently public pronouncement suggests those concerns have been assuaged.
Settling on a date has also been complicated. Rob McCracken, Anthony Joshua’s trainer, is also the GB Boxing performance director. The Olympic Games run from July 23-August 8 so August 14 would not be a direct clash of dates, although the Olympics would occupy a significant period in Joshua’s training camp. GB are likely to have boxers in competition right through to the last day of the Olympic tournament, but the medal winning stages take place at different points during that Olympic period. Looking at the Olympic schedule, it’s perfectly possible that Great Britain boxers might have guaranteed three or so medals by August 2. Again that might make an August 14 fight date for Joshua-Fury more achievable.
The broadcast of Joshua vs Fury is likely to be shared by multiple networks across different territories. That will be complex and needs to be confirmed but is not considered to be a major stumbling block. If the financial settlement, the date and the location have all been agreed by the two principles, then the negotiations for the mega-fight are on course.