Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua edges closer to final agreements

As the fight that everyone wants to see, especially British boxing fans, the potential bout between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua could bring a unification of all the major heavyweight boxing titles. That doesn’t happen very often, which means the clamour for this fight to happen is greater than ever.

However, there are a few obstacles which have yet to be overcome. Both boxers have been clear about their intentions, eager to get in the ring for not one but two fights in 2021, although negotiations have been lengthy and remain ongoing. The willingness is certainly there from the Fury and Joshua camps, yet final agreements have yet to be made.

One issue is that Deontay Wilder insists that he is due a trilogy fight against Fury, despite their contractual agreement expiring in December 2020, along with aborted plans to go ahead with that bout before the end of last year. Wilder has claimed he may take the matter to arbitration, where a retired judge would make a legally binding decision.

In all likelihood, given the expiry of any contractual obligations tying Fury to another fight against Wilder, any decision would probably fall in his favour. That said, while the issue remains outstanding, it could yet scupper the advancement of plans to schedule contests against Joshua.

Meanwhile, the Joshua camp have a couple of hurdles of their own. Apparently, he still faces an obligation to take on mandatory WBO challenger Oleksandr Usyk, who was expecting a bout to take place early in 2021. Usyk has suggested he’d be willing to step aside, albeit with his camp making significant financial demands for compensation.

Eddie Hearn has claimed the Usyk camp are being “greedy” with their demands, although there is another potential problem if agreements can’t be reached. Joshua might be forced to relinquish his WBO title, which means any proposed fight against Fury would no longer be “undisputed” for all the main belts.

Given that’s an important selling point for the battle of the British heavyweight giants, Hearn will be eager to get a final resolution for that matter. Nevertheless, there is no doubting that Joshua would be willing to forfeit his WBO belt, should that remain the only thing standing in the way of his desired two-fight deal with Fury.

Insofar as their respective promoters are concerned, Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn remain convinced that Fury versus Joshua will go ahead this year. Bookmakers are also keen to see certain dates agreed, with early boxing betting odds favouring Fury at 8/15, with Joshua priced at 11/8 to beat his British compatriot.

Providing these outstanding issues for both fighters can be resolved, considering that agreement is almost total between the respective Fury and Joshua camps, next on the agenda will be agreeing a suitable venue. Everything at present points towards a first bout being held in Saudi Arabia, which would bring a lucrative purse, with the second held in Britain. Hopefully, definitive confirmation will come in the next couple of weeks.

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