Tyson Fury’s and Anthony Joshua epic all-British undisputed fight has finally been confirmed by promoter Eddie Hearn – who says it will take place in Saudi Arabia on either August 7 or 14.
Boxing fans have been early awaiting news over the highly-anticipated showdown between the pair, which will determine the best fighter on the planet, but talks have dragged on for months – with both teams growing frustrated over the slow nature of negotiations.
But Hearn, who has been leading the discussions for some time and has assured that the fight will go ahead for many weeks, has revealed a date for the clash and said it would be held in Saudi Arabia – where Joshua beat Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.
It was previously reported that the parties had agreed to a $150million+ pact which would take the fight to Saudi Arabia and Hearn has now confirmed this location.
And the date on August 7/August 14,’ Hearn told Sky Sports when asked about a date for the fight. ‘I think it’s a very bad secret that the fight’s happening in Saudi Arabia.
I don’t mind giving you that information, Bob Arum’s already done it.’
Hearn hailed the ‘fantastic’ organisers in the Middle East and backed them to put on a top event after the successful bout between Joshua and Ruiz Jr nearly two years ago, and insists both sides are ‘ready to go’.
‘It’s the same people we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz – that event was spectacular.
As partners they were fantastic as well, so we’re very comfortable.
‘Anthony is comfortable, he knows those people, they delivered on every one of their promises last time. We’re ready to go.
‘That’s going to be the date. Of course you’ve got the Olympics finishing on August 7th, so in terms of a global spectacle, it would make sense to go on the 14th. That’s one of the things to tick off in the next, hopefully, few days.’
It won’t be the first time Fury has fought in Saudi Arabia – having made a surprise appearance in the WWE – beating Braun Strowman in the country in October 2019.
There had been huge question marks over the fight as the weeks dragged on without any official announcement – with Fury and his promoters Arum and Frank Warren all pouring doubt over whether it would take place.
This week Warren said Fury was unhappy with his contract and would not be signing it in its current state, while Arum last month declared the bout ‘dead in the water’ while Hearn frantically attempted to sign off a site deal.
And Joshua himself waded into the back-and-forth words as he said he wanted ‘less talk, more action from Fury’, after the Gypsy King’s tirade about the Watford-born fighter on social media – describing himself as a ‘spartan’, while calling Joshua a ‘big bum dosser’.
Fury claimed he would quit on his stool if Joshua made it past three rounds with him in their fight, prompting stern words from the four-belt world champion.
‘Spartan,’ he wrote on Twitter as he addressed Fury. ‘I’m tired. My fans are tired. Your fans are tired. We’re all tired of the talk. Less talk. More action!’
Hearn conceded there was impatience over the deal being dragged out, but said he sees no reason why it won’t be officially announced this week.
‘We’re in a stage where people are getting frustrated,’ he added. ‘The deal is done. Now we’re on the finer details of the contract, which came back last Friday. It went back last night. They are on calls now in the office about it, and I think at some point people are going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith in this deal.
‘From our perspective and AJ’s perspective, we’re ready to go. From Tyson Fury’s perspective, they’ve got a couple of lawyers across it from their point.
‘There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen this week. This is kind of like the moment where you could actually turn around at this point and say, “This is dragging on too long, or I can’t be dealing with this anymore”.
‘But we have to nail this, and I’m not going to stop until I nail it, and everyone has just got to move forward collectively.
‘We’re ready to go from our side. We’re not far away from their side and it is inevitable, but at the same time, we’ve got to close the door on it.’
Previously Warren had admitted there were a few ‘humps’ to sort out before the deal could be properly thrashed out, telling SecondsOut: ‘You can only sign a contract when all the parties agree on it,’ the promoter said.
‘And we’ve got a contract at the moment that all the parties don’t agree on. We’ve got a contract at the moment that Tyson Fury will not sign.
‘One of the things in that contract that will enable us to get over the hump is the guarantees. If the guarantees are there, then it’s not a problem.
‘That’s where it is. I’m not going down the road of where the fight’s going to take place, who those negotiations are with because it’s all moot at the moment.
‘Until we agree the terms, until Tyson Fury – which is who we’re with – until he’s happy with the terms it won’t get signed. And he’s not happy at the moment.’
But through all the uncertainty, Hearn has always been adamant that the fight would go head this summer and that it had been agreed by both parties.