Promoter Frank Warren has reported that heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are nearing a deal to fight later this year. Warren told ESPN that the fight will likely take place in June or July, but he did not disclose a location.
"The fight is very close to being done now," Warren said.
"It's all COVID-19 related but I think it will go on some time in June, latest July. It's going to be a two-fight deal, and it depends what happens in the first fight and agreement of all parties as to where and what happens after that."
Warren's comments contradict Fury's statements earlier this year. In an interview, Fury said that contract negotiations were no "further" along than they were months before.
"They've had a full year to try and make this fight happen," Fury said.
"Since the last Wilder fight, even before the Wilder fight, they were talking about a fight potentially between me and Joshua. They've had a full year to make something happen, and it hasn't happened as of yet. It is what it is. We're no further forward today than we were a year ago."
Regardless of when the fight takes place, Fury will likely be the favorite. Coming off of a devastating technical knockout of Deontay Wilder last February, Fury has cemented himself as the top dog in the division and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. In the opposite corner, Joshua enters the ring with a sole loss to Andy Ruiz in 2019. Since then, he's avenged his loss to Ruiz and ended Kubrat Pulev's eight-fight winning streak. With a win, Joshua will not only take Fury's WBC Heavyweight Title. He will also become the first undisputed heavyweight champion in more than 20 years. If successful, he would join a group of elite fighters that includes Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis.
Neither Fury nor Joshua has commented on Warren's most recent report.
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