Joshua, Fury Agree to Terms on Two-Fight Deal

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SWITZERLAND, JUNE 10 – Anthony Joshua has reached an agreement with Tyson Fury on a two-fight deal, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

The news that has excited bookmakers but left more disinterested observers wondering when, where and if it will happen.

There is much wrangling to be done before the most anticipated fight in the business comes even close to fruition, although Hearn insists Joshua, who holds three versions of the title, and Fury, the unbeaten WBC champion, are already, “in agreement regarding the financial terms”. That would seem to gel with a surprise statement last week by Frank Warren that his fighter, Fury, would be willing to split the purse 50-50.

Such unanimity between promoters who have never even met, let alone exchanged civil words, is as rare as a trusted handshake in boxing, but at least the signs are encouraging. While Fury has captured attention beyond his sport with his giant personality, a story of redemption straight from Hollywood and a rousing stoppage of the American knockout ogre, Deontay Wilder, Joshua has had to regain lost ground with the public after losing unbeaten record and his title to Andy Ruiz last year. He did that with a convincing points win in the rematch last December to win back his WBA, IBF and WBO belts, the bargaining chips he needed to even begin talks with Fury.

“We’re making great progress,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates. It’s fair to say [they] are in agreement regarding the financial terms of the fight. The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence.

“The most difficult part of any deal is the financial element. I believe we’re in a great place where both guys have agreed to what that should be. We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out. We’re pushing towards a place where they can be drafted, for 2021. Both guys are in agreement. The structure of the deal has been put forward, and agreed to by both parties.”

One obvious hurdle is the pandemic that has paralysed sport around the world. There was boxing of sorts on ESPN in the United States this week, but without an audience, and it felt as flat as the canvas. Fighting in a near-empty hall robs pugilism of its essence, although Hearn still has plans to hold four nights of boxing over 28 days in July and August in the 15-acre grounds of his Matchroom headquarters in Romford.

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