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Champs Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua reach two-fight agreement

Promoter Eddie Hearn says rival world heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury “have agreed to the basics” of a deal to fight two times in 2021.

There is no signed contract yet, with the first fight likely to happen in the summer of 2021. Venues and dates have yet to be agreed to, and both English boxers have defenses of their titles to get through for the two fights to happen.

“We have agreed to the basics of the deal, a two-fight deal,” Hearn, who promotes Joshua, told ESPN. “The hardest part is to agree to the financial element of the deal. We have agreed with Tyson Fury and the team, and we can now move forward with finalizing the smaller parts of the deal. The good news for fight fans is that we have agreed to do the two fights and we can now go and dot the I’s and cross the T’s. “They also have fights in between to make and get through, and that’s another issue.”

Fury, the reigning WBC and lineal heavyweight champion, overpowered Deontay Wilder in February.

Wilder exercised his contractual right to an immediate third fight, which was planned for July until the coronavirus pandemic caused postponements and cancellations across the boxing world. That fight seems likely to happen late this year, according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum.

Joshua, the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight champion, defeated Andy Ruiz to regain his three belts after a shocking loss in June 2019. Joshua had his mandatory bout with Kubrat Pulev, programmed for June 20, postponed because of the pandemic.

Joshua had his mandatory bout with Kubrat Pulev, programmed for June 20, postponed because of the pandemic.

Fury is due to face another Briton, Dillian Whyte, in a mandatory defense early in 2021. “Who knows what’s going to happen with Deontay Wilder, but we [Matchroom Sport] want Dillian Whyte to fight for the world title, and he is supposed to fight Tyson Fury, the WBC champion, by February 2021,” Hearn said. “There are obstacles to overcome, but the good news is that we are moving forward.”

If Joshua and Fury retain their titles, it would set the stage for a unified heavyweight champion for the first time in over 20 years.

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