‘Couple of days’ could be all it takes to make Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua

Eddie Hearn has insisted it could take as little as two days to complete a deal for Anthony Joshua to fight Tyson Fury in 2021.

Plans for a ‘Battle of Britain’ have moved full steam ahead after the 31-year-old stopped Kubrat Pulev in the ninth round on Saturday at Wembley’s SSE Arena.

It has paved the way for a twin-fight between the two world heavyweight champions from these shores and while an agreement has been in principle since the summer, it could be signed off as early as next week.

Asked how long realistically it would take to complete, Hearn replied: “A couple of days.

“There is no reason we cannot complete the deal and then move on and solve the other problems.

“We need to write to the governing bodies and say yes we have a deal and we will now talk to the various sites and confirm the dates shortly for what I suppose will be the end of May.”

There are some potential stumbling blocks, including if Fury is forced to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time and Joshua could be told by the WBO to face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.

But Hearn insisted: “The only hitch I can think of is Wilder. If the court order the Fury rematch, and it doesn’t sound as though they will, then it is out of our hands.

“That is the only way it falls through is if something stops their side, that isn’t me saying they don’t want it, they do, but if the court orders it then we will have to fight Usyk.

“The WBO probably on Monday will email to say you have 30 days to start negotiations with Usyk. (Bob) Arum seems very confident that the fight (Wilder-Fury) is not on. Unless he has made a complete balls up, it sounds like the fight is dead.”

If Usyk and the WBO do not agree to that title being on the line for Joshua-Fury, Hearn conceded they could vacate the belt in order to ensure one of the biggest fights in British boxing history is able to take place.

Both fighters could earn up to £100million each from the first bout next summer, if it was to take place abroad, with the split set to be 50-50 and then 60-40 to the winner with the second contest planned for late 2021.

Anthony Joshua knocked down Kubrat Pulev several times before he secured a ninth-round stoppage
Anthony Joshua knocked down Kubrat Pulev several times before he secured a ninth-round stoppage (Andrew Couldridge/PA)

A sold-out Wembley would not generate the finances available if the fight was held in the Middle East and therefore is more likely to be the venue for part two of this battle.

Joshua and Fury also have television deals with Sky, DAZN, ESPN and BT respectively and while the TV rights are something to be resolved, it is not likely to jeopardise plans for the duo to clash.

After a destructive display against IBF mandatory challenger Pulev, where the Bulgarian was floored three times before a final knockout blow, preparation quickly turned to what next for the Londoner.

Floyd Mayweather Jr was a surprise guest in London and urged Joshua on from his ringside seat before the pair spent a lengthy period together afterwards.

“They talked tactics for about an hour, it was unbelievable,” Hearn revealed. “They were talking about slipping jabs, using elbows in a clinch, it just went on and on.

“He asked to come tonight and wanted 18-odd people and we gave them four. He couldn’t come in unless he was working so it was great. We got him to do interviews for Sky and DAZN.

“It was quite fascinating really. I think all fighters are in awe of him, AJ was just bleeding information out of him about slipping jabs. AJ is a student of the game. He is getting better but still has a long way to improve.”

Fury’s jab is notoriously strong and accurate and while it would not be said in public, it could be suggested Joshua was already getting ready for that fight by picking the brains of Mayweather about avoiding such shots.

Champs corner

👑👑👑👑#JoshuaPulevpic.twitter.com/aAKmNoEdhj

— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 13, 2020

The ‘Gypsy King’ took to social media straight after Pulev had been knocked out and said of his rival: “I knock him out inside three rounds.”

Matchroom promoter Hearn disputed that prediction, but above all else is desperate to ensure the two fight at the peak of their powers and avoid a repeat of Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao, which only occurred when both were in their late thirties

He said: “I think AJ will knock him out. Tonight AJ got hit once maybe with a right hand, that was about it. Fury and Pulev probably punch as hard as each other, Fury is not a devastating puncher, but he is a lot better than Pulev.

“It is an undisputed fight, it should be the toughest fight out there, but I’ve always fancied him to beat Tyson Fury, always.

“But Fury is definitely at the peak of his powers and so is AJ which actually is why it is so great if we get it made because you saw with Floyd and Pacquiao, it was rubbish.”

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