Matchroom Sport chief Eddie Hearn has told boxing fans to expect Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to fight each other twice next year. A match-up between the two British heavyweights has been highly anticipated for a number of years, and Hearn says an agreement is finally coming to fruition for a fight to take place in May or June 2021.
There are also plans for a second bout at the end of the year, regardless of the outcome in the initial clash.
It is likely that one or both events could take place outside of the United Kingdom, as the privilege of hosting it usually goes to the highest bidder.
Hearn told Sky Sports: “Probably May, June, and then November, December. If one of those fights at least didn’t take place in the UK it would be a shame.”
“We will take all the offers that will come from all around the world and present them to both teams and both fighters. Ultimately, normally, the biggest offer wins.”
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The fights would see the heavyweight division’s championship titles unified, with Joshua holding the IBF, WBA and WBO versions of the crown while Fury boasts the WBC belt and is ranked above the rest by Ring Magazine in its prestigious list.
The latter has announced he is set to return to the ring in early December to face a currently unconfirmed opponent, with Deontay Wilder’s hopes of a third fight against the Wythenshawe-born fighter seemingly dead in the water.
Meanwhile, Joshua will defend his three world titles against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev at London’s O2 Arena on December 12.
Hearn added that he wants both men to triumph in order to set up a mouthwatering pair of fights next year.
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“The most important thing is that most fighters win in December,” he said. “The good news on that is that Tyson Fury isn’t going to fight anyone of significant note.
“Look, he’s coming off of a big win over Deontay Wilder. If he takes an easy touch in December, which it looks like he’s going to, I don’t think you can criticise him for that, but we [Joshua] have got a real fight on our hands.
“We can’t take our eyes off, Kubrat Pulev. He’s a top-five heavyweight, a mandatory challenger. He has only one loss to Wladimir Klitschko, and he’s a big puncher and a great technician.
“So we’ve got to be focusing on what we’re doing. I hope Fury picks an easy fight in December. So get those wins, and let’s get it on in 2021.”
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