Great Britain

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury hope to sign blockbuster fight deal NEXT MONTH even if venue is not confirmed

ANTHONY JOSHUA and Tyson Fury hope to sign their £200million fight deal in the next month without a confirmed venue in a bid to beat Covid-19.

The English heavyweights are desperate to start what boxing fans hope will be a two-fight rivalry ASAP and over half-a-dozen nations are ready to stump up mega money to host.

But the ever-changing coronavirus rules and regulations mean AJ promoter Eddie Hearn predicts the location could be the last thing that gets agreed upon, to stay ahead of the pandemic.

The Matchroom boss saud: “We will say, hopefully in the next three or four weeks, ‘deal done’.

“When everybody's on board and signed we'll collectively go out and speak to these sites we've had approaches from and look to do the best deal for the fighters - not just from a financial perspective but from a logistical point of view as well.  

“And everything is changing. One country is all of a sudden coming out of the pandemic, they're really aggressive, they've got a lot of money for tourism, they want to say, ‘we're back’. And then two weeks later they go into a lockdown.

“So it's very very difficult at the moment to move with that much confidence or certainty and it's not a great time to be discussing international sporting events.

“But we're at that period - end of May, early June - where people are a lot more confident that they will be in a better place to stage it.”

The March 6 rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin could be headed abroad with tiny Gibraltar a shock candidate host.

The tiny British territory in the deepest south of Spain has a popularity of just 32,000 but could offer up a venue for fans to watch the heavyweight grudge rerun.

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Hearn, who has just announced five shows to run from February 13 into April, said: “We're looking to stage all of those fights in one location, with perhaps only the Dillian Whyte fight going international.

“At the moment that's an option but we haven't made any decisions yet.

“We've spoken to some quite interesting ones, a couple in the Middle East and we've also spoken to Gibraltar and also to Monaco. 

“The feeling from Dillian is he would like crowds for that fight.

“It's a big fight for him and he would prefer that fight in front of some kind of crowds but even in the territories I mentioned there's no guarantee that would be the case either. There could be crowds in Gibraltar.”

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