Eddie Hearn to jet off on worldwide hunt for a venue for Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s mega-fight with the Middle East the early favourite as the promoter sets three-week deadline to finalise undisputed showdown
- Eddie Hearn will embark on a world tour this week for Joshua vs Fury venue
- The heavyweight rivals signed contracts for the two-fight deal earlier this month
- Hearn and promoter Bob Arum have put a three-week deadline on the search
Eddie Hearn will embark on a world tour this week in a bid to find a site for the showdown between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.
The heavyweight rivals signed contracts for the two-fight deal earlier this month, but the issues of where and when continue to be a significant hurdle.
The Middle East remains the most likely destination owing to its ability to pay the most lucrative site fees, with operators in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Dubai all in talks with Hearn. There is also interest from Singapore, China, the US and a fringe possibility of Wembley Stadium.
Eddie Hearn will embark on a world tour this week in a bid to find a site for Fury vs Joshua
The British heavyweight rivals signed contracts for the two-fight deal earlier this month
Hearn and Fury’s promoter Bob Arum have put a three-week deadline on the search and attempts to nail down the details of a June or July fight will intensify in the coming week with the Matchroom boss commencing a run of six meetings in four countries in six days from Sunday.
He said: ‘I am going to the Middle East, the Far East and America to meet people. Around six meetings across four countries.
‘June and July in the Middle East are very warm so most people would prefer it to be a little bit later. But that’s not what’s on the table.
The Middle East remains the most likely destination owing to its ability to pay lucrative fees
‘We want two fights this year and the first one will be in the summer. Both the fights and promoters have signed. We now have three weeks to find a venue and decide a date and we are ready to go.
‘Both June and July are in play but the Saudis and the Middle East would prefer the fight later in the year because it is so hot over there. But the fight is taking place in the summer.’
There is some scepticism within boxing over whether the fight will materialise in the planned timeframe, and indeed around what level of site fee can be generated in the current climate. It remains to be seen if each man’s fight purse will reach the mooted level of £100m.
While a Wembley fight seems extremely unlikely because of Covid restrictions, Hearn says talks are ongoing with the government, though that avenue is contingent on somehow being allowed a full house of 100,000 fans by the summer.
Hearn said: ‘If Wembley can give us full capacity in the summer then it comes back into play.
‘We would take less money but everyone would love to do it. The fighters would love to do it at Wembley but they don’t want to take half the money, or a 30-40 per cent cut.
‘There are some conversations going on with the government to see if that is an option. And, if that is an option, that will be presented to the fighters as well.’
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