Boxing: Eddie Hearn delivers Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury venue update

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In one of the most anticipated bouts of our generation, Anthony Joshua will take on Tyson Fury in May or June 2021, as they look to unify the word heavyweight titles.

This fight will be huge for both fighter’s legacies and their future paycheques.

Although not finalised, the fight now looks certain to take place.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn told IFL TV:

"There have been meetings taking place on where this fight is going to be held. There’s various countries.

"I’ve visited a few of them in the last few weeks and days and I think we’re in a good position. There’s some wacky stuff.

"There’s some stuff you’d expect and again, I know everyone wants it in the UK but at the moment they aren’t even allowing boxing, so we’ve got a long way to go.”

Hearn continued: “We’ve been drafting contracts, it’s not signed but the deal has been agreed for a long time, we’ve confirmed that in writing.

"I feel like the fight is virtually there, to be honest with you. We’re in the final stages of everything that’s got to be worked out. I think it’s hotting up nicely. The mind games are starting.”

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Tyson Fury has made typically brash statements about Joshua for many years, criticising him for a perceived lack of technical boxing ability, and relying too much on power.

Earlier this week, Fury made the bold prediction that he would stop Joshua inside two rounds. Joshua has stayed fairly reserved about any such predictions since the bout was first suggested many years ago.

However, he has been drawn into losing his cool more recently, with the barbed jibes of Fury finally getting under his skin, whilst in public eye.

Hearn added: “AJ is working tirelessly away in London and I think Tyson has gone to Miami to train and I think AJ will be going somewhere to train soon as well. I think everything is great.

"There’s been conversations every day for the last two weeks on that fight. A lot of the travelling I’ve been doing lately has been looking at where that fight can be staged as well.

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"We’re in the position now of drafting paperwork to try and move forwards with that fight so I think from a pandemic point of view it’s difficult because the world is changing every day.

"One minute something is opening, another something is closing. That fight is planned for the end of May, early June and I don’t see anything getting in the way of it."

The argument could be made that the circumstances that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, could benefit both fighters, and promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren.

Another UK lockdown is a distinct possibility during the summer. There have also been ongoing concerns that possible venues for the showdown, in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia, may be used for ‘sportswashing’ purposes.

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Both of these countries have highly questionable human rights records, and have spent huge sums on sporting events to soften their image on the world stage.

Any backlash that the fighters and promoters may receive for holding the biggest all-British fight in a generation, outside of the UK, will evaporate if they don’t have the choice of holding the bout in the UK anyway.

UK boxing fans will be desperate to see a clash like this at Wembley Stadium, but the pandemic or the money offered in other parts of the world looks set to snatch this great privilege away from them.

One thing remains certain. With the sums involved, this fight will happen, pandemic or no pandemic.

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Major sporting organisations have consistently found ways to keep events going, with the public perception often being that they receive special treatment.

The continuation of the English Premier League whilst the country is under lockdown has raised concerns. The abundance of sporting stars blatantly flouting rules and sharing the evidence on their own social media accounts has angered many.

A fight of the magnitude of Joshua vs Fury will surely bend the rules as far as possible in order for it to happen, wherever it may occur.

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