Joshua showdown with Fury unlikely to be in UK says promoter


London (AFP)

Anthony Joshua's first blockbuster bout with Tyson Fury is unlikely to take place in Britain, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua, the WBA, IBF and WBO world champion, and WBC belt holder Fury have agreed in principle to stage two eagerly-anticipated fights in 2021.

But Hearn does not believe the two Britons will slug it out in their own country.

Saudi Arabia, which staged Joshua's win over Andy Ruiz Jr in December, has already emerged as favourite to host the contest.

Hearn admitted that while he would love the bout to be staged in Britain, financial practicalities make it much more likely that it will take place in the Middle East or China.

"If we can do the fight in the UK, fantastic, (but) we know Saudi Arabia would love to have this fight. We had a wonderful experience last time with the Andy Ruiz fight. Hearn told Matchroom's Youtube channel on Thursday.

"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."

While Britain is on the back-burner as a potential host for the first fight, Hearn did not completely rule out the possibility of the second meeting being in the UK.

"Everyone will talk about this fight taking place in the UK but it doesn't work like that," Hearn said.

"We have to go back to report the offers to these people's teams. It's a dangerous sport so let them make their money.

"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."