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Tyson Fury says two-fight deal to face Anthony Joshua in 2021 is done, Eddie Hearn stresses no contracts in place

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The fight would determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion in two decades.

Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury II - MGM Grand Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Tyson Fury has posted on Instagram that he’s got a two-fight deal in place to face Anthony Joshua in 2021, and while Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn isn’t quite as excitable, he has confirmed that there has been significant progress made and some agreements on both sides.

Here’s what Fury said on IG:

“(Daniel Kinahan of MTK Global has) just informed me that the biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed. Two-fight deal, Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua next year. One problem, I’ve just got to smash Deontay Wilder’s face right in in the next fight, then we go into the Joshua fight next year. So there we are, the ‘Gypsy King’ vs AJ is on for next year, but there is a hurdle in the road called ‘The Bronze Bomber,’ aka the knockout king, and I will get onto him and knock him spark out.”

Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) is expected to face Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO) later this year, possibly in November or December. Joshua (23-1, 21 KO) has to face IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev (28-1, 14 KO) in his next fight, too.

British boxer Anthony Joshua wins back his world heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

From what Hearn tells Sky Sports, there are agreements in place, but no signed contracts or anything:

“We’re making great progress. There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates. We’ve been talking to [Fury’s management team] MTK, giving them the assurances from Joshua’s side that all the details on the structure of the deal is approved from our side. And it is from Fury’s side, as well. ... The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence. We have not signed contracts because there are still things to be worked out.”

As Hearn also mentions, three fights have to happen before this gets made:

  1. Fury’s contractually mandated rematch with Deontay Wilder
  2. Joshua’s IBF mandatory clash with Kubrat Pulev
  3. Fury’s WBC mandatory fight with Dillian Whyte

Between those and Hearn’s admission of how little of Fury-Joshua is actually on paper, we’ll probably need to curb our enthusiasm for a bit.

Especially since Fury-Wilder 3 isn’t happening until November or December, meaning this fight would happen in summer 2021 at the earliest.

Still, progress is progress, and Fury-Joshua is a phenomenal matchup that’s worth getting unreasonably excited over. Knowing the way grand plans tend to implode in this sport, though, we can likely expect Pulev to knock Joshua out and ruin the whole thing.