Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury: Deal agreed for Fight in Saudi Arabia on August 14
According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have agreed to a contest for the undisputed heavyweight title on Aug. 14 in Saudi Arabia.
Fury made the declaration on Sunday, relaying a chat he had with a Saudi prince who told him that the site agreement is safe and that the battle is set for Aug. 14. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently displayed a strong interest in boxing. This will be the KSA’s second main heavyweight title battle, following the December 2019 rematch between Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr.
Saudi Arabia paid a site fee of approximately $60 million for the rights to the Ruiz-Joshua 2 battle, but a fight of the size of Fury-Joshua was always going to demand a nine-figure contract. According to reports, Saudi Arabia is offering about $150 million to land the fight, indicating the country’s keen involvement in international sporting events. Mark Kriegel of ESPN was the first to announce the $150 million figure.
According to reports, the battle is set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital. Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has announced that KSA would build a purpose-built arena to host the battle.
Ruiz-Joshua 2 was also held in a purpose-built stadium, but it took place in December, when the weather is more conducive to an outdoor game. Hearn mentioned that since the temperatures would be much higher in August, this will be an indoor venue.
What are the figures behind the fight?
Fury and Joshua agreed to a two-fight contract last year, with the combatants splitting the earnings equally for the first fight; the champion would take home 60% of the money in the rematch.
With $150 million raised from the site fee alone, as well as income from ESPN, DAZN, BT, and Sky Sports, each fighter could comfortably clear $100 million.
There is yet to be a distribution deal achieved, although it is expected that ESPN+ will carry the pay-per-view in the United States, with DAZN broadcasting the war internationally outside of the United Kingdom. Sky Sports and BT will also bring the pay-per-view.
How did they actually enter an agreement?
For weeks, Hearn has maintained that the war will take place in August. Fury and Joshua were adamant about fighting each other. That was never a concern.
The threat posed by the coronavirus, as well as all the prohibitions that came with it, proved to be a stumbling block. However, with vaccinations being distributed and life back to normalcy, KSA was evidently able to spend the money required to carry the war to fruition.
Joshua and Hearn have openly supported the offer, but Fury has been more suspicious, telling The Athletic last week that he won’t believe it until “I’m in the ring.” One chat with Prince Khalid evidently changed his mind, when he was told that the war would continue, prompting his announcement on social media.
How big will this fight be?
It’s easily the greatest battle in boxing history, and it’s still the biggest heavyweight title match since Mike Tyson faced Lennox Lewis in 2002. Joshua vs Fury Live Stream can comfortably exceed one million PPV purchases in the United States, and perhaps two million in the United Kingdom.
Both Fury and Joshua are English, but this battle would have huge global appeal: two big-punching heavyweights and one of the most dynamic personalities in sports in Fury.
Why Saudi Arabia?
The KSA made the best of a drive for the war and was able to spend the most money. Fans also complained that the contest is not taking place at Wembley Stadium in England, so maybe the rematch will take place there. It was still going to be complicated with coronavirus limits.
The Kingdom made an ambitious drive for the fight, and with a record-breaking site charge, they landed a huge event for the nation. On the 14th of August, all attention will be on Saudi Arabia.