The biggest fight in boxing is reportedly one step closer to happening. Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have signed a two-fight contract to unify all four recognized heavyweight world championships, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN. The sides are reportedly targeting both fights to happen in 2021, with the first taking place over the summer and the rematch in November or December. Top Rank president Bob Arum was not cited in the report.
There are still hurdles to be cleared, as a location and date for the fight still have to be determined -- and agreed to by all involved. But a signed contract would mean boxing has moved one step closer to crowning an undisputed heavyweight champion for the first time since Lennox Lewis won the WBC, WBA and IBF titles in 1999.
WBC champ Fury has grown increasingly frustrated in recent months over the complicated negotiation process, which involved the fighters, their promoters and rival networks all needing to get on the same page.
"We'd like to get a site deal confirmed in the next month," Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn told ESPN. "The hard part is always getting everybody to put pen to paper. But this was a major effort from all parties to get this over the line. You had rival promoters, rival networks and rival fighters."
Attending the MTK Global card in Bolton, England on Friday, Fury claimed he had stopped training for the fight and had taken up drinking while waiting to finally step in the ring with IBF, WBA and WBO champ Joshua.
"I'm not training anymore," Fury said during an interview at the event. "I'm not training no more. I've never stopped training since December 2017, and even after these world title fights, I trained the next day. I go running 10 miles, doing things. I'm in the gym sparring and messing around. I'm taking some time away from the game at the moment, because, like I say, I've been ready to fight since I beat Deontay Wilder last year. I've had no success in getting another fight, which is down to the COVID and a lot going on. At the moment I'm just concentrating on getting me 10 pints of Stella to 12 everyday.