6:59 AM ET
Close•Reports on boxing for ESPN.co.uk, as well as several national newspapers
•Has been reporting on British boxing for over 15 years
•Appears on BoxNation’s Boxing Matters show
Tyson Fury’s co-promoter Frank Warren has said he is confident nothing will get in the way of making a Fury vs. Anthony Joshua fight for May or June in 2021.
Warren told ESPN negotiations are advancing with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn for the English rivals to meet for all four major world heavyweight titles, at a venue most likely to be outside the United Kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will see it this year, we are at a stage where we are not far off getting it done and announcing it,” Warren told ESPN.
He added that obstacles such as an arbitration hearing in the United States regarding American Deontay Wilder’s claim Fury is contracted to fight him next, and Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk’s position as WBO mandatory challenger for one of Joshua’s belts will not be a problem.
But WBC champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), 32, and WBA-IBF-WBO champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs), 31, will have to fight outside of their home nation due to the UK’s COVID-19 restrictions which do not permit fans at sporting events. Saudi Arabia has been named as a possible venue for the first encounter.
“There’s a will to make it work. No contracts have been exchanged, we are looking at getting a draft. There are a few venues but nothing concrete at the moment. I very much doubt it will be in the UK because of COVID, and it will be a two-fight contract.
“The Deontay Wilder arbitration hasn’t been resolved and we feel comfortable in our position. The TV is being worked on and it will be resolved. Usyk and Joe Joyce will fight for the WBO interim title, the winner of Fury-Joshua will eventually have to fight the winner of that fight [Usyk-Joyce].”
Warren said Fury-Joshua would be the biggest event he has worked on in his 40 years as a boxing promoter, and according to reports is suggested to be worth $200 million.
“It’s the biggest event by far I have been involved in,” Warren said.
“It’s two Brits fighting for all four heavyweight belts, the first time in history that will happen. We did Frank Bruno-Mike Tyson in the US which was big, big pay per view numbers, but I think this will eclipse it even without 90,000 at Wembley because there will be a big site fee.”
Meanwhile, former undisputed world cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs), 34, and Londoner Joyce (12-0, 11 KOs), 35, are being lined up to dispute the WBO interim heavyweight title.
“We exclusively promote Joe Joyce and are trying to put the fight with Usyk together, I would think it happens before Fury-Joshua,” Warren said.
“As a professional, there’s no miles on the clock with Joe, he looked fresh against Daniel Dubois and he came in light for the fight. Usyk is 34, he’s only had two fights at heavyweight and I don’t he’s ever going to be a big heavyweight at his age, so I just think Joe will have too much for him.”
Warren also expects Liam Williams, of Wales, to challenge American Demetrius Andrade for the WBO world middleweight title this year, and hopes Dubois can return in May after suffering left medial orbital fractures in the tenth round loss to Joyce on Nov. 28.
Warren aims to get a world title shot for brothers Sunny and Charlie Edwards this year, at junior bantamweight and bantamweight respectively.