Negotiations for Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua have been reopened since Anthony Joshua’s 9th Round TKO over IBF Mandatory Challenger Kubrat Pulev. Teams of both sides including Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and Bob Arum’s Top Rank have mutually agreed that Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua must take place next no matter what; even if the WBO Heavyweight Belt is not on the line.
The Boxing world is overjoyed with this news as there can be many excuses made for this fight not happening next including the WBO Mandatory Challenger and Wilder-Fury 3. Instead of marinating this fight longer and risking losing it, both teams agree that the mega-fight must happen next but the major question is: Will it take place in the UK?
Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: The biggest event in British Sporting History
Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are both British boxers, British heavyweight world champions and the two biggest British Boxers in boxing today. So Surely it only makes sense for this fight to be in the UK? Unfortunately, due to financial reasons, it is not that simple, and there is an excellent chance that we as British fight fans will lose the Biggest all-British fight of all time to a country that can pay a large site fee.
There have been talks to stage this mega-event in the middle east due to potentially lucrative host fee offers from countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar etc. The precedent for middle-eastern countries to host major fights was set by Chris Eubank when he stopped Camilo Alarcon at a tennis club in Dubai.
Since then, Saudi Arabia has held multiple boxing events including the WBSS Final between Callum Smith and George Groves (Two Brits), Amir Khan (another Brit) and most notably the Joshua Ruiz rematch in December 2019. Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum are confident that at least one Middle-Eastern country will make a major site fee offer due to the overwhelming success of Joshua Ruiz 2.
One Fight In the UK, One Somewhere Else?
However, the question remains if countries like these would be willing to pay a major site fee off the back of a global pandemic? Despite this, it is also unlikely that the UK can host 90,000 by the first fight especially since we continuously go into and out of lockdown. Therefore it may make more sense to host the second fight in the UK.
This way, the fighters can maximise the revenue from one fight and the British public can still enjoy the second fight in the ‘rightful’ location of Wembley. If the fight lands in Saudi Arabia, it will still be in Primetime in the UK and as the Joshua Ruiz 2 (1-1.1M) PPV buys showed there will still be massive UK interest in the fight.
Why Should at Least One fight Take Place in the UK?
Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua is the biggest event currently in British Sport and the biggest of all time since England in the 1966 world cup. What makes Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua so big is the fans. Joshua Klitschko had 90,000 at Wembley and 1m buys in the UK on PPV at 19.95, Joshua Fury could do 300,000+ tickets if it were possible and 2m buys on PPV at 29.95.
It is a mega-fight and the UK must have it especially after the pandemic. The UK needs to show it can still deliver big events in the country, but will the UK be willing to pay any kind of fee to host the fight? Unlikely as the UK government notoriously and controversially provided ZERO funding to the amateur scene and small-hall professionals while sports like Ruby League received a staggering £135M.
To have the fight in the UK both boxers would have to take significantly less money for one of the fights but they should do so if they could fill out a stadium. Having Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua in the UK will be a huge part of the legacy for the winner and loser.
During the pandemic, we learned the importance of having passionate fans present and the excitement of the fans will only be felt to its full extent at Wembley in front of 90,000 screaming, enthusiastic passionate Brits. It is a two-fight deal, at least one fight should be where it rightfully belongs: in the UK.