The signs are looking good for a heavyweight title unification clash between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury taking place in May.
Joshua successfully defended his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts following a ninth-round knockout of Kubrat Pulev this past weekend.
That meant “AJ” remained on course for a highly-anticipated clash with WBC champion Fury next year and as per Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, talks went well with Top Rank’s Bob Arum ahead of a pending two-fight deal.
There are only just a few small issues to iron out as of now.
“I had a good chat with [Bob Arum] him last night. It’s positive,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “I think we’re all in the same position. We want to move forward with the fight, quickly as well, which is good news for fans.
“Just trying to solve any remaining issues of the fight, of which there aren’t many, to be honest with you, and try and move forward collectively to let the governing bodies know that we plan to stage this fight probably in May, and we would like this to be for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
“A few small issues to iron out, but I think we can start look at drawing up contracts and try to get this moving.
“Here on both sides, every member of each team wants to do this fight. We all acknowledge this is the biggest fight in boxing, this is the best fight for both guys. This is for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. Why are you in the sport, if you don’t want this fight?”
Some of the issues remaining are Fury’s ongoing dispute with Deontay Wilder while Joshua has to fulfill a WBO mandatory defense against Oleksandr Usyk.
However, Hearn is confident of getting past those hurdles.
“If you listen to Bob, that’s [Wilder mediation] not a problem,” Hearn added. “He is a lawyer and he knows his contracts and he tells us that Tyson Fury is contractually free to take any fight he wants. I do believe Deontay Wilder is appealing that, in the US courts, but we don’t expect that to be a problem.
“Ultimately the big issue for Anthony Joshua is he has a WBO mandatory now. We will be writing to the WBO to say you have an opportunity to be part of the biggest fight in boxing. One of the biggest fights in boxing history. Oleksandr Usyk is the WBO mandatory, we have to respect that, and the rules as well. We’ll be speaking to him to make sure he’s happy with a potential resolution.
“But for any reason Tyson Fury can’t contractually fight Anthony Joshua, AJ will fight Oleksandr Usyk next. For us, Usyk is a great fighter, it’s a great fight, there is only one name that we’re focusing on and that is Tyson Fury.”
Things are certainly looking promising for now.
Do you think we’ll see Joshua vs. Fury in 2021?