Joshua vs. Fury: Middle East ready to stage the fight, claims Eddie Hearn
By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn says the Middle East is ready to go for the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury mega-fight in July. However, Hearn isn’t certain whether Fury and his dad John will go along with the program of staging the fight overseas.
John Fury has been quite vocal this week about wanting to stage the Joshua fight in the UK at Wembley, but he doesn’t think it’s feasible right now because of the pandemic and the greed.
Hearn has multiple venues that he’ll be presenting to WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and IBF/WBA/WBO champ Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) to examine this weekend for their July fight. Still, unfortunately, most of them are outside of the UK.
“Nothing is ideal,” Hearn said to Sky Sports about the venue for the Joshua vs. Fury fight in July. “If it were ideal, we’d just be in Wembley with 100,000.”
It almost sounds like it would be better for Hearn, Joshua, and Fury to wait until things have improved with the pandemic so that they can stage the fight in the UK in front of their fans.
Joshua already let his fans down by staging his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia rather than the UK. That was a move that didn’t go over well with his fans back home, who felt that was a greed-based decision on Joshua’s part to stage the fight in Saudi to squeeze a few more millions out of it.
If Hearn waits until the pandemic is over, they can stage the Joshua vs. Fury fight at Wembley in December in front of 100,000 boxing fans. In the meantime, the two heavyweights can take interim fights against their mandatory challengers.
Joshua has his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk that he needs to defend against. For his part, Fury has his trilogy match against Deontay Wilder to make in the U.S and make good money.
“But I don’t know whether Tyson Fury would accept that offer,” said Hearn about fighting in the Middle East. “We may see on Sunday. The Middle East offers have been based on an indoor arena.
“It has to be in an indoor arena, and those arenas are already in place, ready to stage this fight,” said Hearn about wanting to stage the Joshua vs. Fury fight in the Middle East.
“We had a great experience [in Saudi Arabia] back in December 2019, with Anthony Joshua against Andy Ruiz, so they are players that we know are for real. We’ve been through the process with them,” said Hearn.
Fighting in the Middle East is somewhat forgivable for Joshua with him going up against Ruiz Jr, but the UK boxing fans will be furious if Matchroom and Top Rank stakes the Fury fight over there.
Unless they want to turn their backs on the fans, the promoters need to stage the Joshua-Fury fight in the UK, and that means waiting until the pandemic is over. If they can’t stage the fight in the UK in front of fans in July, they need to put it off until crowds can return.
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