Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have signed a deal for two all-British world heavyweight title unification fights, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said on Monday.
Confirming the agreement for the much-anticipated bout, Hearn told ESPN: “The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper.
“But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters.”
Hearn said a venue for the fights, in which Joshua’s WBA, IBF and WBO titles and Fury’s WBC belt will be on the line, is set to be confirmed “within the next month”.
According to reports, Saudi Arabia, where Joshua won a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019, is the frontrunner to host both fights.
But Hearn told ESPN he “already had approaches from eight or nine sites” across the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and America.
“We’d like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month,” he said.
Both Joshua, 31, and Fury, 32, are expected to earn £100 million ($139 million) each, with the purse split 50-50 for the first fight and 60-40 for the rematch in favour of the defending champion.
Since avenging a shock defeat to Ruiz, Joshua has defended his WBA, IBF and WBO titles against Kubrat Pulev in London in December.
Fury has not fought for more than a year since defeating Deontay Wilder in February 2020 to claim the WBC title.
Joshua previously stated he hoped the fight could take place as early as June.
“(The coronavirus pandemic) is getting close to things being normal. We’re working on a date for around June,” the former Olympic champion told Sky News.
“I’m ready. I’m really looking forward to competition — all I want to do is fight, fight, fight.”
Fury has consistently made jibes at Joshua’s expense, claiming in January that he would knock out his fellow Brit within two rounds.
However, last week the “Gypsy King” said he had stopped training after becoming tired of waiting for the fight to be agreed.
“I’m not training anymore,” Fury told ESPN. “I’m taking some time away from the game at the moment, because, like I said, I’ve been ready to fight since I beat Deontay Wilder last year. I’ve had no success in getting another fight.”