Joshua set for August fight with Fury in Saudi Arabia, says Hearn

By Sports Desk May 11, 2021

Eddie Hearn says the first fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury will take place in August and confirmed the "bad secret" that it will take place in Saudi Arabia is accurate.

Exact details have yet to be officially disclosed for the heavyweight unification fight which will see Joshua defend his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles against undefeated WBC champion Fury.

But Hearn has consistently said the fight is on and has now narrowed it down to two potential dates in August.

While Joshua had previously talked up the prospect of fighting at Wembley, the fighters will do battle in Saudi Arabia, ahead of a second bout later in 2021.

"August 7 or August 14," Joshua's manager Hearn told Sky Sports News when asked when the first fight would take place.

"Look, I think it is a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia – I don’t mind giving you that information as Bob Arum has already done it.

"I have told you it's the same people that we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz, that event was spectacular, as partners they were fantastic as well.

"We are very comfortable, Anthony is comfortable, he knows those people, they delivered on every one of their promises last time - so we are ready to go.

"That's gonna be the date.

"You've obviously got the Olympics finishing on August 7 so in terms of a global spectacle it would make sense to go on the 14th.

"But that's one of the things to tick off in hopefully the next few days."

The update from Hearn comes after Joshua and Fury exchanged barbs on social media, with each calling on the other to take action and agree terms.

Joshua said he and his fans were "tired" of delays and called for more action from the Fury camp.

Fury responded by branding Joshua "an ugly Dosser" and urged him to "come get some", insisting the Joshua and Matchroom side were "no talk and no action".

Hearn is frustrated that a deal is not finalised despite broad agreement between the two camps.

He added: "I saw the tweets from AJ. He's tired, the fans are tired, and everyone is tired.

"We're in a stage where people are getting frustrated. The deal is done. Now we're on the finer details of the contract, which came back last Friday. It went back last night.

"They are on calls now in the office about it, and I think at some point people are going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith in this deal.

"From our perspective and AJ's perspective, we're ready to go. From Tyson Fury's perspective, they've got a couple of lawyers across it from their point.

"The tweet from AJ last night was, 'Come on, less talk, more action. Let's get this done!'.

"There's no reason why it shouldn't happen this week. This is kind of like the moment where you could actually turn around at this point and say, 'This is dragging on too long, or I can't be dealing with this anymore'.

"But we have to nail this, and I'm not going to stop until I nail it, and everyone has just got to move forward collectively.

"We're ready to go from our side. We're not far away from their side and it is inevitable, but at the same time, we've got to close the door on it."

Joshua has a 24-1 record after avenging his only career defeat to Ruiz prior to defeating Kubrat Pulev in London and defending his titles at the end of last year.

Fury is undefeated in 31 contests, with one draw against Deontay Wilder, the American who he beat in their rematch to claim the WBC crown in February 2020, which was the last time he fought.

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    Joshua decided to shake things up after losing his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

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    Joshua was outclassed by Usyk, suffering the second defeat of his professional career after he was also surprisingly dethroned by Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.

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