British heavyweight icons Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are reported to have agreed financial terms on a two-fight deal, which would help to determine the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. These are events that will go down in British sporting folklore. It’s not common for two British heavyweights to be at the top of the billing, so already speculation has begun as to where these two fights will be staged, with Stratford’s London Stadium a possible contender.
The former home of the London 2012 Olympics, which is now the base for West Ham United Football Club, is ideally situated for a major sporting event given its improved rail links into and out of central London. Given the improved competency of crowd control at West Ham games of late, the London Stadium could be a sensible location. However, the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could also be in the running, particularly as promoter Eddie Hearn was keen to stage Joshua’s postponed bout with Kubrat Pulev in North London. Hearn said that Joshua’s “clear instruction” to Hearn was that he wanted his next fight to be in the UK, but money talks in the boxing industry.
The more likely candidate to stage a double-header between Fury and Joshua would be Las Vegas. Fury has lit up the MGM Grand on several occasions in recent years, with his most recent duel with Deontay Wilder resulting in thousands of Brits making the pilgrimage to “Sin City” to watch. An all-British heavyweight bout would be sure to turn the Vegas Strip into one big Union Jack. Vegas’ new state-of-the-art Allegiant Stadium – set to be the new home of the NFL franchise Las Vegas Raiders – would appear to be the ideal location.
There is no doubt that Las Vegas is the unofficial home of heavyweight boxing. It has staged some of the biggest events in boxing history to date. That tag means it’s by no means cheap to get there for a fight night. Flight prices go through the roof if any major events are on, but there are many ways you can curb your spending once you are in Vegas. Nevertheless, many fans would probably take the opportunity to stay in Vegas for a longer holiday and make the cost worthwhile.
As for Joshua’s last fight, this was staged in Saudi Arabia and promoter Eddie Hearn has not ruled out the prospect of the duo locking horns in the Middle East either. Fellow promoter Frank Warren fears that neither fight between Joshua and Fury will be staged on British soil, particularly if both fighters wish to maximise their income from the double-header. Joshua, who recently returned to his first ever boxing gym in Barnet for a fascinating podcast, is already a big star in Saudi Arabia.
WBO decision could delay Joshua Vs Fury
Although Joshua and Fury have agreed to fight in principle for the title of undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, there are fresh roadblocks in the way of this happening. First and foremost, the WBO have insisted that Anthony Joshua must fight the mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight belt before Fury. The winner of the scheduled bout between Dereck Chisora and Oleksandr Usyk would be the mandatory challenger and Joshua could be forced to schedule this at the same time Fury completes his trilogy of fights with Deontay Wilder later this year.
Should Fury overcome Wilder once again, he too could be enforced to face the mandatory challenger for the WBC belt, fellow Brit Dillian Whyte. Whyte has waited a long time for his crack at the WBC belt having held the mandatory challenger spot for over a year now. This means both Joshua and Fury could have to win two more fights before being allowed to proceed with their double-header. Defeat for either fighter could place the prospect in huge doubt.
Bizarrely, Tyson Fury was also thought to have been lined up as a heavyweight comeback for Mike Tyson. The 53-year-old has spoken publicly of his desire to box one more time and his advisors reportedly negotiated with Fury’s team demanding £500m to fight Fury. Fury said in a recent interview that “whoever was offering the comeback money” to Tyson was offering Fury “peanuts” to take him on.