Tyson Fury said he has received assurances that his mega-fight with Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight title will take place in Saudi Arabia on August 14, revealing it as “massive news” on his social media channel.
However, Telegraph Sport understands the respective teams are yet to sign final contracts.
Fury’s team believe the contest will take place in Jeddah, although a site in Riyadh has also been under discussion, with plans for a purpose-built indoor stadium, with £107million reportedly being put forward by a Saudi Arabian group.
The two British heavyweight boxers will contest all four world heavyweight titles for the first time in the sport’s history. Fury holds the WBC title, and Joshua is the incumbent champion with IBF, WBA and WBO belts.
In a video on Twitter, Fury said: “I have got some massive news. I have just got off the phone with Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia and he told me this fight is 100 per cent on, August 14th, 2021.”
Fury, the WBC champion added: “All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I cannot wait, repeat, cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all-time. This is going to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet Earth. Do not miss it. All eyes on us. See you all in Saudi.”
Teams from both sides have been inching closer to the final heads of agreement contract for weeks, which is expected to be completed by the end of the week. According to ESPN, Fury received assurances from Prince Khalid Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi defence secretary. There was also optimism from Bob Arum, Fury’s American promoter, for the first time in weeks.
“We still haven’t gotten the final contracts – we’re supposed to get a clean draft on Monday,” Arum told ESPN. “But Prince Khalid has assured Tyson that there will be no problems, and everybody who has dealt with Prince Khalid and his team know them to be men of their word.”
Arum said Fury-Joshua would take place in Jeddah, a resort city by the Red Sea, which is cooler than the other possible site, Riyadh. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, who negotiated a deal in 2019 with Prince Khalid’s team, for the rematch between Joshua and Andy Ruiz, has been publicly optimistic that the event would go ahead, in spite of Arum’s assertion seventeen days ago when he said that the fight was “dead in the water” for this summer due to complications in the contract.
The promoters had been trying to negotiate to remove a “force majeure” provision which would have allowed the Saudis to stage the fight any time before December 31. “Apparently, that’s all been resolved,” Arum confirmed.