Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will face off in two all-British world heavyweight title unification fights, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said on Monday.
The two heavyweight world champions agreed terms in principle last year but have now put pen to paper after contracts were finalised.
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Media reports suggested that the first fight will take place in June or July in Saudi Arabia and both fighters are expected to earn £100million.
The winner of the record breaking bout will be crowned the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999 after the WBO agreed to waive Joshua’s mandatory responsibilities.
“All parties have now put pen to paper and we will be working hard over the next few weeks to confirm the site and date for the biggest fight in boxing,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“We’ve already had approaches from eight or nine sites. The offers have come from multiple countries in the Middle East, from Asia, eastern Europe and America.
“This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world,” Hearn said. “It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself.”
Having agreed a 50/50 purse split last summer, the biggest remaining hurdle was Joshua’s clash with Kubrat Pulev but the Brit stopped his mandatory challenger in the ninth round last December.
The Olympic champion then risked being striped of one of his three titles if he did not fight Oleksandr Usyk before taking on Fury – but the WBO has relented and Usyk will instead face Joe Joyce for the interim belt.
The winner will then likely be upgraded to full champion status with the victor of Joshua vs Fury expected to relinquish the belt in order to stage a rematch later this year.
Joshua and Fury have been on a collision course since the latter stopped Deontay Wilder in their rematch last February.
But an all-British clash was initially dependent on Fury beating Wilder again in their trilogy fight – and Joshua seeing off the challenge of Pulev.
The coronavirus crisis then played havoc with the boxing schedule and both fights were pushed back to December. (AFP/Mirror.co.uk)