"Negotiations can't take place until we know if Wilder will step aside, and if Pulev will step aside."
Friday 1 May 2020 22:10, UK
Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have received offers from foreign territories to host an undisputed heavyweight title fight but "negotiations can't take place" yet, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua is contracted to next defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Kubrat Pulev and Deontay Wilder has the right to enforce a third WBC title fight with Fury.
"Negotiations aren't underway," Joshua's promoter Hearn told The Boxing Show on Sky Sports. "We have a contract to fight Pulev next. Fury has a contract to fight Wilder next.
"There is keenness from our side and Fury's side to go straight into [a fight between them]. But we are both under contract for different fights.
"No negotiations have taken place. Negotiations can't take place until we know if Wilder will step aside, and if Pulev will step aside."
Saudi Arabia plus two other foreign nations have expressed their interest in hosting a Joshua vs Fury fight, according to Hearn.
"We have had enquiries from territories asking to stage that fight. Ourselves and [Fury's management] MTK Global have been in discussions to look at those offers, and when this fight might take place.
"We were looking to fight in June, Fury-Wilder in July, and we all planned to make this fight in December. Now, could we go straight into the December fight? Will we have a live audience in December?
"As it stands now Joshua's next fight is Pulev and Fury's next fight is Wilder. Could a deal be struck for them to step aside? Absolutely.
"Would we be willing to entertain it? Absolutely.
"Right now the focus is on the contracts we have signed, and the winners to fight in spring 2021."
The British Boxing Board of Control are "hopeful" that the sport can resume in July but without fans in attendance, with a maximum of five fights per event and with a pre-tournament medical form, COVID-19 testing and pre-tournament quarantine.
"We don't know which territory will be allowed to implement a live audience," Hearn said. "For example New Zealand has zero [coronavirus] cases and Australia very few. Certain countries can start up sooner than others.
"We would love to bring AJ-Fury to the UK but in December that doesn't look like a possibility.
"We're talking, we're moving in the right direction, we've all got the same mindset to create the biggest fight in boxing history between two British world champions for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
"You will get this fight. It's just a case of when and where."
Fury's US-based promoter, Top Rank's Bob Arum, told Sky Sports earlier this week that a travel ban between could lead to the undisputed title fight between the two Brits: "Everything is possible and nothing is off the table.
"We have to sit and discuss this, to figure out how to move into the future.
"I can't predict when Fury vs Wilder will take place or if it will happen."
Wilder refuted suggestions that he would accept an offer to step aside from his contractual right to a third fight with Fury. He told the Premier Boxing Champions podcast last month: "Why wouldn't I want it?"
However, Wilder is currently recovering from bicep surgery.
Hearn expects boxing to return without live crowds in the UK in July. He said: "The bigger the show, the more difficult it is to do behind closed doors. Not only the size of the event, but the revenue generated for the show. That has to be replaced somehow.
"There is a financial barrier to overcome but we have to ride that wave in the short-term.
"We want to stage major shows behind closed doors because it will be ground-breaking and innovative. The plans are illustrious. I don't want a TV studio with no atmosphere. We want to create a unique moment, a unique destination."