Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury could be staged in UK, USA or Middle East – where is most logical?
“The venue is an obstacle to overcome”
Last Updated: 16/06/20 4:42pm
Two Brits in the UK - the ideal scenario?
The idea of Joshua and Fury duking it out at Wembley Stadium would be an all-time great British sporting occasion.
Their past six combined fights have been abroad, however, such is the global interest in the rival world heavyweight champions.
Joshua's next fight against Kubrat Pulev was initially scheduled in London and is still being prioritised for a UK venue. But Joshua vs Fury? Not necessarily.
"From a common-sense point of view and without knowing how a deal works, everyone will say Britain is the place to hold the fight," Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports.
"But it is the world heavyweight championship - there will be all sorts of offers from across the world, and there have been already.
"The venue is another obstacle to overcome."
Hearn added on Matchroom's YouTube channel: "Everyone will talk about this fight taking place in the UK because it's between two Brits and in an ideal world it's definitely something we would look at.
"But it doesn't necessarily work like that.
"It's a two-fight deal so one will take place in an alternative venue to the other fight. If we can do the fight in the UK, fantastic."
Todd DuBoef, the president of Fury's US-based promoter Top Rank, told Sky Sports: "To do a fight in the UK would be fantastic."
But there was acknowledgement that the UK is merely one option on the table.
Ricky Hatton, a close friend of Fury's, spoke for UK fans by telling Sky Sports: "I don't see why it can't happen at Wembley. You need a big outdoor arena.
"The majority of money is made when you go boxing in the United States. The vast size of the United States, that tends to be where you earn your money, but a fight of this size, I think it needs to be in England. Two British heavyweights.
"Two men at the top of the game. A brilliant clash of styles, a brilliant clash of personalities. We've got to have it in the UK, for British boxing. We need this in the UK, it's an absolute must."
But is the fight more lucrative in the USA?
Joshua vs Fury was labelled "the big Super Bowl fight" by Top Rank president DuBoef.
Joshua's only fight on US soil was his disastrous experience against Andy Ruiz Jr at New York's Madison Square Garden whereas Fury has fought there five times, plus once in Canada.
Since Fury started working with Las Vegas-based Top Rank, alongside his UK promoter Frank Warren, all three of his fights have been stateside.
"I think that the success of the big events, the biggest events in the history of combat sports, have originated from America," DuBoef said.
"I keep going back to that. I think the impact and the success of a PPV being distributed from the United States to the late hours, or early hours let's call it in the UK - we've seen that be very successful and the fans are connected and will stay up.
"My heart of hearts tells me that would be the ideal place, but obviously we would be open to any site and any prospective dynamic that would be different.
"To do a fight in the UK would be fantastic. Both guys are larger than life and to sync that up with the United States. But as we just said, if it was the old world, we just did under $17m with Fury and Wilder and I'm not sure there was a gate in the UK that's done that."
The Joshua camp know that, eventually, they must fight in America again.
Worldwide interest including the Middle East
Joshua's rematch against Ruiz Jr last December in Saudi Arabia was not the first boxing match in that country, but it made the biggest splash.
"We'd have to weigh all the different circumstances and if there was outside locations, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Asia, whatever, we would obviously weigh those too," Top Rank president DuBoef said.
Hearn said: "We have to go back to report the offers to these people's teams.
"It's a fight between two guys, it's a dangerous sport so let them make their money.
"We know Saudi Arabia would love to have this fight - we had a wonderful experience last time with the Andy Ruiz fight," added Hearn.
"We've had offers from China, we've had offers from around the world.
"This is the biggest fight in boxing - it doesn't get any bigger. There's not going to be any country that stages major events that won't want this fight."
Fury's third fight with Deontay Wilder, planned for before he meets Joshua, is also being considered for locations outside of the UK and US.
Australia and Macau, the autonomous region of China, are both in the running.
Back in January, Sky Sports reported that Joshua had received "a huge site fee" to face the winner of Fury-Wilder in Saudi Arabia.