Hearn: Joshua vs. Fury negotiations still have a lot to overcome

Promoted Eddie Hearn says there’s still a lot of obstacles that need to be overcome before the heavyweight unification fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua is a done deal. Right now, the contracts haven’t been signed for the match. The only thing they’ve agreed on is the financial side.

The first Fury-Joshua fight will have a 50-50 split right down the middle, and the winner of that match will enjoy a 60-40 split in the second contest. Both of the fights are supposed to take place in 2021, with the first to be targeted for the summer.

The obstacles that need to be overcome before Fury and Joshua fight:

  • Joshua’s title defense against Kubrat Pulev in 2020
  • Fury vs. Wilder 3 this year
  • Dillian Whyte WBC mandatory for Fury

Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) could happen in November or December. Fury’s promoter Bob Arum is still trying to figure out and where it’ll take place. The last idea floated was to have it take place on Boxing Day in Australia on December 26, and it would be shown in the U.S on Christmas.

Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) doesn’t have a date or a venue for his title defense against IBF mandatory Kuev Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs).

What Hearn isn’t saying is that it’s not a given that Joshua beats the 39-year-old Pulev, and not a certainty that Fury defeats Wilder. Although Fury will likely be enjoying a 40 to 50-pound weight advantage over Wilder, that still doesn’t guarantee that he’ll win. Even 212 pounds, Wilder still hits harder than Fury, and he’s a lot faster than him.

The WBC will need to handle the Dillian Whyte situation delicately because he’s been waiting since 2017 for his title shot, and it’s going to create a firestorm of criticism if Fury doesn’t defend against him in early 2021.

World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman said Whyte would fight for the WBC title by February 2021. If Suliaman changed his mind and has Whyte sit and wait for another year, he’s going to be hopping mad.

“We’re making great progress. There is still a lot to overcome,” said Hearn to Sky Sports. “We are looking at venues and dates. We’ve been talking to [Fury’s management team] MTK, giving them the assurances from Joshua’s side that all the details on the structure of the deal is approved from our side.

“And it is from Fury’s side, as well. … The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence. We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out.”