After months of negotiations, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have finally signed a two-fight deal that will unify the heavyweight titles.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed the contract signing with ESPN on Monday, saying he hopes they'll settle on a fight location next month.
"The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper," Hearn said. "But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters.
"… I know how hard we've worked these last couple of months, and I just feel that this fight is so big it's not a difficult sell. 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."
A Top Rank source told ESPN that the deal is pending while they look for a site and date that works for both sides, adding: "We have 30 days from the signing, or the deal could go away."
The first bout between Fury and Joshua will have a 50–50 purse split, and the second bout includes a 60–40 split in favor of the winner. ESPN reports the plan is for both fights to take place in 2021, with the first occurring in June or July and the rematch possibly being scheduled for November or December
A clash between Fury and Joshua is one of the biggest heavyweight fights in boxing history. Fury (30-0-1) hasn't fought since his career-defining knockout win over Deontay Wilder in their February 2020 rematch. The win gave Fury the WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles.
As negotiations for the two-fight deal dragged, Fury revealed in an interview last week that he had stopped training for the Joshua bout and started drinking up to 10 pints a day.
Joshua (24–1) has won back-to-back fights since losing to Andy Ruiz in June 2019. He avenged the loss sixth months later by outclassing Ruiz in a lopsided decision and winning back the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles he lost in the first bout. Joshua defended those titles with a ninth-round knockout victory over Kubrat Pulev in December 2020.