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Joshua vs. Fury: Both have 30 days to agree on site-deal

Anthony Joshua Eddie Hearn Tyson Fury

By Barry Holbrook: It appears that ESPN jumped the gun earlier today with the premature announcement of the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury heavyweight clash in June.

The fight going ahead in June comes down to whether the two fighters agree in the next 30 days to a site-deal after they signed the contracts last Saturday. If there’s no agreement in the next 30 days, you can say goodbye to the Joshua-Fury fight.

Eddie Hearn told ESPN’s Mark Kriegel that he’s hoping to get a site deal done by next month. In 2019, Hearn bagged a $40 million site deal to stage the Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr rematch in Saudi Arabia.

For the Joshua vs. Fury fight, Hearn is likely looking for more than $40M for the first fight between the two in June.

If there is no deal, it’ll be a big disappointment for the fans, who have gotten their hopes up about seeing Joshua and Fury square off after ESPN released the news of the two having signed their portions of the contract last Saturday.

Ticking time clock for next 30 days

“The confidence of Eddie Hearn coming out and announcing it means that I would suspect that both contracts for the fight itself, the two fights, have been signed, and they’ve agreed to the splits, which we knew last summer,” said Gareth Davies to iFL TV.

Anthony Joshua Eddie Hearn Tyson Fury

“And the date, of course,” said Davies about either fighter being able to walk away from the deal in the next 30 days if they don’t agree with the date or the location of the fight.

“If it’s signed for late August, Tyson Fury is already on record; he doesn’t want to be out for too long. He wants to fight twice this year. The site fees, the money side of it, and the venue are really.

“The dates of the contest are really important. My understanding is there are 30 days to get this agreed now after these contracts are signed.

“It’s a ticking clock for the next 30 days, and it’s also a ticking time clock because if it doesn’t get done in that time, all the vast announcements around the world for the greatest, biggest, British boxing fight in history, the richest, the most lucrative for this heavyweight crown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, the reports will be, ‘the fight collapses.’

“So, they have 30 days now to have all these things agreed. I reached out to Tyson Fury this evening to get a comment from him. He said, ‘I have nothing to tell you.’

“There’s still all that other stuff that has to be agreed before we actually move ahead and know the fight is truly happening. They have to agree, or it scuppers the fight,” said Davies.

Bob Arum of Top Rank is likely less than pleased with Hearn letting the cat out of the bag about the deal being signed off by Fury and Joshua.

Knowing Bob, he would have preferred to wait until a site deal was done so that there was no chance of either fighter walking away. This could blow up in the faces of the promoters if they’re unable to get AJ and Fury to agree to a deal in the next 30 days.

As it is, fans are losing interest in the fight, seeing it as something that has been talked to death already. or a lot of fans, they’ve already turned their attention to other fights and fighters, seeing Fury and Joshua pampered prima donnas.

Did Hearn jump the gun?

“I’m sure there’s a bit of irksome feelings on the side of Bob Arum and Tyson Fury,” said Davies. “There’s almost been a leap ahead in the announcement.

Anthony Joshua Eddie Hearn Tyson Fury

“Eddie wouldn’t have done that if there wasn’t something significant going on behind the scenes. Maybe they agreed not to do this and to do it unilaterally.

“Maybe he couldn’t help himself, or maybe he revealed it when he was in America. I think he’s stolen the march.

“I’m not saying he’s done the wrong thing because it might work out having done the right thing to get this process accelerated, to get the excitement generated in the global media, which it has done today.

“It went off like a bombshell today. It was suddenly massive news. People want to know when it is and where it is. Eddie has probably taken a gamble, ‘I’m going to put it out there, and maybe it’ll hasten that process and get the guys speaking again.’

“I don’t think the fight will fall through, but there’s still water to pass under the bridge before we’re all booking our seats on the planes, where I imagine will be somewhere in the Arabian desert,” Davies said.

You can make a strong argument that Hearn was loose in the lips in spilling the news to ESPN before a site deal had been assigned off on for the Joshua vs. Fury fight.

He should have waited until everything was 100% done before leaking the news. Ideally, having Top Rank promoter Arum release the news might have been better, as the U.S is going to play a big part in driving pay-per-view buys to the Joshua-Fury fight. Additionally, Top Rank wouldn’t have released the news until the site deal was done.

Fury has a 12-week camp to lose weight

“He looks to be 19 to 20 stone. He still has a 12-week camp to go through yet,” Davies said about Fury. “Some of that is going to come off anyway.

“Fury is definitely frustrated that the fight hasn’t been signed already, but these things take a long time.

“When you hear Tyson saying, ‘I’m starting to get a little depressed.’ That worries me a little bit for him, but I think he’s alright.

“I see Fury as the favorite going into this fight despite the inactivity. The stylistic differences we’ve seen in Joshua’s last two performances in his rematch with Andy Ruiz and his fight against Kubrat Pulev, he has a much higher guard now.

“He wants to box behind his jab. I don’t think that’s the way he should be fighting Fury.

“If he does defeat Fury, I think it’ll be in the first six or seven rounds. I don’t think it’ll be late in the fight. If Fury has established a rhythm by then, I think he’ll get more and more comfortable as the fight goes on.

“If it goes 12 rounds, I think Fury will win comfortably on points, and I think he will win comfortably on points,” said Davies.

Fury needs to think carefully about the game plan that he wants to use for the Joshua fight because he could be going down the wrong street if he tries to brawl as he did against Deontay Wilder.


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