A two-fight deal between Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, and Fury, the WBC champion, has already been agreed but there remains a number of key elements that still must be decided.
Joshua last fought on December when he successfully defended his titles against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev while Fury has been out of action ever since sensationally knocking out Deontay Wilder in their heavyweight rematch in Las Vegas in February 2020.
Both fighters have taken to social media to talk up the clash as the pair try to close in on a venue for the first of their blockbuster heavyweight showdowns this summer.
Here’s everything you need to know:
When is the fight?
The details are still to be officially confirmed but 14 August now appears to be the favourite, following the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics on 8 August.
Where will the fight be?
The fight is set to take place in Saudi Arabia with promoter Eddie Hearn finally confirming what had long been an open secret within the sport.
“I think it’s a very bad secret that the fight is happening in Saudi Arabia,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s the same people we did the deal with for Andy Ruiz, that event was spectacular. As partners they were fantastic as well.
“We’re very comfortable. Anthony’s comfortable, he knows those people. They delivered on every one of their promises last time, we’re ready to go.”
What belts are on the line?
All of them, basically.
Joshua’s IBF, WBO and WBA heavyweight title are on the line with Fury’s WBC strap also up for grabs.
The winner, should there be one, will become undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
What is the latest?
Fury posted a short video on Twitter recently in which he revealed there were “some big, big offers on the table”, with “interest from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Russia, America, England”.
He added he would look at the proposals at the weekend before calling his rival a “big useless dosser”.
Joshua then tweeted that his management company and promoters had received “the first OFFICIAL offer” to stage their fight.
Hearn added in April: “It’s as done as it can be. It’s non-stop at the moment, but it’s happening, it’s 100 per cent happening.”
So, there’s still no official announcement then?
No. However, the noises coming from both camps - Joshua’s promoter Hearn has said “we are on the verge” of getting the fight across the line - are distinctly more upbeat than a few weeks ago.
Fury’s father John cast doubt on arguably the biggest fight in world boxing right now going ahead in the next few months, suggesting the coronavirus pandemic made a bout unfeasible.
“I just don’t think the timing is right for a fight of that magnitude with the state of the world at the minute,” he said.
But everything appears on course.
“The deal is done,” Hearn said. “Now we’re on the finer details of the contract, which came back last Friday. It went back last night. They are on calls now in the office about it, and I think at some point people are going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith in this deal.
“From our perspective and AJ’s perspective, we’re ready to go. From Tyson Fury’s perspective, they’ve got a couple of lawyers across it from their point.
“The tweet from AJ last night was, ‘Come on, less talk, more action. Let’s get this done!’ There’s no reason why it shouldn’t happen this week.”
How soon could an announcement come?
Both fighters have started training but nothing sharpens minds like an official announcement, which could come in the next couple of weeks or even sooner.
There is still a chance everything fizzles out, with Deontay Wilder waiting in the wings to complete his trilogy against Fury, having lost to the Briton last February, while WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk is on Joshua’s radar.
“We can’t do any more than we’re doing - no one’s been at fault, we’ve done everything we can and we’re in a really good place,” Hearn said. “I’m not saying any more other than cross your fingers.”
Who is going to win?
Anthony Joshua: 11/8
Tyson Fury: 4/7
Joshua points or decision: 11/2
Fury points of decision: 15/8
Joshua KO/TKO: 5/2
Fury KO/TKO: 9/4
All odds via Betfair
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