Bob Arum says talks are progressing well for Anthony Joshua to face Tyson Fury and is almost certain the fight will happen this year.
Britain’s world Heavyweight champions, Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) have agreed a two-fight deal for this year, with a reported 50-50 split in the first fight and 60-40 in favour of the winner in the second clash.
The venue of the fight is still to be determined with Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Dubai, China and the USA all reportedly in contention, whilst the broadcast situation is yet to be confirmed, however Fury’s co-promoter, Arum remains convinced that a completed deal is edging closer and believes his man will win inside the distance.
“I don’t want to make a deadline, but I just can report that everything so far has been going splendidly, and we hope to have a signed document within the next couple of weeks,” Arum told Sky Sports News.
“That might not provide for a site, because again, we can have a document that the fighters would have signed, and everything, and then have a mutual agreement clause of the site.
“We’re all on the same page, as far as I can see.
“I’m 95 per cent confident the fight happens, and I’m 100 per cent confident that my guy wins, and wins by knockout.”
“We talked about the undercard and Eddie made a really good suggestion – that we have Matchroom fighters against fighters from our side.
“That would be pretty good. It would be interesting.”
Joshua retained his WBA ‘Super’, IBF, WBO and IBO Heavyweight world titles with a ninth round knockout of IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in December, whilst Fury ripped away the WBC title from Deontay Wilder with a seventh round stoppage in February in Las Vegas.
Remaining hurdles to Joshua vs Fury
Oleksandr Usyk remains Joshua’s WBO mandatory challenger after cementing his position with victory over the Derek Chisora in October.
The 32-year-old would either have to agree to step aside or Joshua could vacate the belt, but Arum believes that a deal can be reached with the Ukrainian.
“He is the mandatory for the WBO, so we will ask the WBO to allow this fight to happen with Fury and Joshua, and that would hold off Usyk,” Arum added.
“If we were not able to accomplish that, well maybe before we try to accomplish that, we would reach some kind of solution with Usyk where he fights somebody else, maybe on the same card. We’ll find a solution.
“I’m optimistic we will find a solution. Now if we don’t, the unfortunate thing would be, that we do it without the WBO title.
“Be that as it may, but I think it would be nice for boxing to do this for the undisputed title.”
Former WBC champion, Deontay Wilder remains hopeful of securing a trilogy with Fury.
The pair were set to meet in an immediate rematch, but the fight was pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst a projected December date was ruled out, due to a number of college football games falling at the same time.
Fury’s team insists the timeframe for a third fight has passed, but Wilder’s team used the “dispute resolution provision” in the contract to take their case to mediation, which remains ongoing.