Saudi Arabia is set to host the world heavyweight title unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in August, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, reports PA.
The fight, expected to be one of the most lucrative in boxing history, has been mooted to hold in the Kingdom for some time, the rival boxers’ camps, however, have been reluctant to confirm its location. The price to host the fight has been reported to cost anywhere between $150 and $200 million.
However, speaking to Sky Sports yesterday, Hearn, who promotes Joshua, said: “August the 7th, August the 14th. I think it’s a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia. It’s the same people we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz – that event was spectacular. As partners they were fantastic as well.
“We’re very comfortable. Anthony’s comfortable; he knows those people. They delivered on every one of their promises last time. We’re ready to go.”
Joshua, 31, defeated Ruiz Jr in Diriyah on the outskirts of Riyadh in their rematch in December 2019 – his initial loss remains his only defeat in 25 professional bouts – to reclaim the IBF, WBA and WBO belts. Meanwhile, the undefeated Fury (30 wins, one draw) is the reigning WBC champion.
The British boxers, who earlier this year agreed to a two-fight deal, have been involved in a heated exchange on social media this past week as tensions increased surrounding finalising a summer bout.
“I saw the tweets from AJ [Joshua],” Hearn said. “He’s tired, the fans are tired, and everyone is tired. We’re in a stage where people are getting frustrated.
“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.”