Talks over the £200million mega fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury began in London today, with the Far East a potential alternative to the Middle East to host fight one between the heavyweight pair.
Joshua’s ninth-round knock-out of Kubrat Pulev paved the way for the all-British heavyweight unification bout, with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn saying the deal could be finalised in just 48 hours.
But Frank Warren, who works with Fury, said he was unlikely to hold talks with Hearn until later in the week.
“We’ve got to talk with the team first and we’ve also got a meeting with BT today,” he told Standard Sport. “So, we’ll see how that all pans out. There’s so many different parts to it: Top Rank, us, Matchroom, MTK, BT, Sky, everyone.
“But there seems to be a will from everyone to do it, so it will be done. There are still a few things that have to be resolved like TV rights, so all that has to be overcome.”
Joshua and Fury had previously agreed to a 50-50 split for the first fight with a 60-40 divide for the winner for their second encounter.
But the location for both fights has yet to be thrashed out, although Saudi Arabia is thought to be the frontrunner for fight one, with London in the driving seat for the second encounter.
But Warren said there were other potential hosts: “The problem is that there’s no large audiences until maybe June at the earliest so it’s going where the money is and this career-defining fight is a chance for both of them to capitalise. There’s the Middle East but there’s also talk of going to the Far East. As it stands, we need to get things agreed and then that will all fall into line.”
Dillian Whyte, who lost to Joshua back in 2015, said the fight between Fury and Joshua next year was too close to call.
“I’ve no idea who wins,” he told Standard Sport. “It’s hard to say. Fury’s bigger and can punch better than Pulev but then, while Fury moves his body well, his feet can sometimes be clumsy so I’d said that’s a 50-50 fight right now.”
Whyte described Joshua’s nine-round display as “a bit of a weird performance”, which could be partly explained by upcoming events.
“Probably part of that is to do with what’s at stake with Fury,” he said. “When Joshua had his foot on the gas, it was impressive but then his foot came off the gas. It was like he was caught between two different styles.
“The knockout was good and he showed good boxing ability but e showed a lot of negativity as well like he didn’t want to engage and get caught. So, it was a bit of a strange one.”