Boxing heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are on course to agree to two mega fights worth a staggering $880 million (£500m).
After Joshua on Sunday blew away Kubrat Pulev to defend his WBA, WBO and IBF belts, his promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed discussions have already begun to find a venue and a TV partner for the Battle of Britain.
Watch Boxing Live & On-Demand on Kayo. Selected international fights, classic bouts and more. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >
Fury’s promoter Bob Arum said he will discuss plans with Hearn on Tuesday (AEDT) — starting with a £200m showdown in the Middle East.
A potential rematch would be preferred in the UK, in front of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium. The added gate revenue and expected hype would see the re-match revenue soar to £300 million.
The combined $880 million deal would become the third richest fight purse in the history of boxing. Only Floyd Mayweather’s historic showdown with Manny Pacquiao in 2015 ($1.23 billion) and Mayweather’s win over Conor McGregor ($1.2 billion) have recorded greater revenue.
Joshua refused to call out the Gypsy King directly for their planned 2021 clash after stopping Pulev in the ninth round at Wembley Arena.
WBC champ Fury then said his rival “s*** himself on live TV” after watching Joshua refuse to say his name.
Joshua eventually responded: “That’s good to hear. At least I can get him in the ring. “That’s what we want, right?”
Matchroom boss Hearn insists Joshua is just tired of the theatrics.
Hearn said: “We are all in for that fight and actually what we should be doing is finalising it.
“The only thing that needs to be resolved is where it is going to be and a couple of TV issues. That is it. Everyone is completely in on the finances.
“We sign an agreement and then go to a conversation about the various sites.
“That’s what they did for Fury vs Deontay Wilder — signed the fight, then went to see where they could get the money.
“We need to write to the governing bodies and say, yes, we have a deal and we will confirm dates shortly for what I suppose will be the end of May.”
Hearn confirmed last week Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar are the leading contenders to take the first fight.
As a packed Wembley Stadium is unlikely to happen so soon after the pandemic, a £100m site fee is attractive.
And the two-hour difference should help them smash all UK pay-per-view records, with Hearn targeting around 2.2m buys.
But it is the lucky TV companies in America — AJ’s backers DAZN and Fury’s ESPN — who now have to decide if they can work together.
Arum, who promotes Fury in the US, tweeted: “It looks like the stage is set for the biggest heavyweight championship fight since Ali-Frazier in 1971.
“We will start on Tuesday working to put that fight together.”
Joshua and Fury are set to split the first fight 50/50 — with the winner taking 60 per cent from a rematch.