Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua finally sign two-fight deal to unify heavyweight titles

Liz Roscher
·2-min read

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have finally signed a two-fight deal to unify the heavyweight titles, after months of stop-and-start negotiations.

ESPN reported that the two fights are expected to take place in 2021. The first will likely be in June or July, and the rematch will be in November or December. The money will be split evenly for the first fight, and the winner of that fight will take a 60 percent share for the rematch, with the loser taking 40 percent.

With the deal signed, the next step is to lock down a location for the fights. Eddie Hearn, managing director of Joshua's promoter Matchroom Sport, has no doubt they'll have their pick of choice locations.

"This is the biggest fight in boxing and one of the biggest sporting events in the world," Hearn told ESPN. "It will be a major, major win for a country that wants to showcase itself."

Fury stopped training due to delays

The negotiations for this heavyweight unification deal took months, and there was doubt that it would get done just days before the contract was signed. Fury apparently had enough doubt that on Friday he told two ESPN broadcasters that he'd stopped training for the fight and was focused on drinking as much beer as possible.

Via ESPN:

"I'm not training anymore," Fury told Alex Steedman and Barry Jones on a Top Rank broadcast on ESPN+. "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 said, I've been ready to fight since I beat Deontay Wilder last year. I've had no success in getting another fight. At the moment I'm just concentrating on getting me 10 pints of Stella."

That is quite a lot of beer. Fury didn't say how long he's been "away from the game," but it's hard to imagine it's long enough to seriously affect his training and preparation. As for the beer? If Fury has been ready to fight since last year, he's not only earned that beer, he'll probably burn it all off in a matter of days, if not hours. You need carbs to train, right?

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on December 14, 2020 shows Boxer Tyson Fury (L) during a press conference in Los Angeles, California on January 25, 2020, and British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua during a press conference in Ad Diriyah, a Unesco-listed heritage site, outside Riyadh, on December 4, 2019. - Anthony Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn says a deal for his man to fight Tyson Fury in an all-British world heavyweight unification bout in 2021 could take as little as two days to complete. Plans for a
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have finally signed a two-fight deal to unify the heavyweight title. (Photos by RINGO CHIU and FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP via Getty Images)

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