Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury will be the biggest heavyweight fight in boxing history.
That’s according to Barry Hearn, after the British boxing superstars agreed a two-fight deal, with the first bout set to take place in 2021.
Barry Hearn is the founder of Matchroom Sport while his son, Eddie, has taken over the reigns of Matchroom Boxing
Joshua holds the WBO, WBA and IBF belts while Fury has the WBC title, having ended Deontay Wilder’s reign in stunning fashion earlier this year.
It’s a showdown the boxing world can’t wait for and Hearn believes it will be occasions like no other we’ve ever seen in the sport.
Asked on the Sports Breakfast if there was stadium big enough to host Joshua vs Fury, Matchroom supremo Hearn replied: No, of course not!
“This is one for (Elon) Musk. We have to take it to another planet. It’s going to be a phenomenal occasion.
“Not the biggest fight in British boxing but the biggest heavyweight fight in the global history of the sport, without a doubt.
“In terms of revenue generation, this is going to blow everything wide apart.
“I’ve seen a few estimates from people and they are maybe miles under what it will be.
Joshua is the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion
“This is so huge but there are a few obstacles yet. Let’s not get too carried away.
“The most important people, the two fighters, have agreed terms. The rest of it now is all about venues, about timing and I think Mr Pulev, on Joshua’s side, and Deontay Wilder on the other side, will have something to say.
“Expect some problems from sanctioning bodies and other fighters. Dillian Whyte has been absolutely pillaged by having to wait so long for his mandatory shot and Oleksandr Usyk has the WBO crying out for his mandatory shot.
“So there’s going to be some manoeuvres, but this fight is so massive you can get round that.”
Frank Warren on Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua being agreed
There has already been speculation as to the likely venue to host this heavyweight clash next year.
Saudi Arabia, which hosted Anthony Joshua’s rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr, has been touted as a possible location.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, told talkSPORT earlier this week he expects the pair to fight outside the UK.
And Hearn admits it looks unlikely the UK will host either of the two planned battle of Britain showdowns:
“People have got to understand that we have to maximise the earnings of our fighters,” he said. “I would rather it was in my back garden.
“We have to be realistic. We have to have a brain. If it goes abroad it will only go abroad if it probably at least doubles, or trebles, the size of the fight.
“It’s a phenomenal fight. There will be offers from all over the world.
“The Saudis have made it quite clear they want to be a major force in boxing.
“The number I think that come out of the conversation dwarf any expectations of revenue for either fighter.
Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder to win the WBC heavyweight title in February
“This is their chance, forget who is going to win or lose because it will be a two fight deal, it’s their chance to establish their legacy in the sporting world in one great night and also to make sure them and their families are financially secure forever.
“That’s the main job. Of course, we’d all like to see it in our back garden or in the UK. There’s nothing better than fights at Wembley.
“Sometimes you get to a level beyond which you can’t compete and this is one of them.”
The 71-year-old claims it would be a ‘straight-forward fight’ for Joshua, who is promoted by Matchroom, and the difficulties may come against other fighters in the heavyweight division.
Hearn added: “You go back to the Ali days there was always four or five heavyweights on the tip of our tongue that we could have thrown in against anybody and these are similar days now.
“Heavyweight boxing is on a high. You have some great fighters out there, particularly Dillian Whyte, he’s the one I feel for.
“He’s a great fighter and he’s served his time. He’s got, potentially, a strong legal case if he wants to to say he’s been overlooked in his mandatory position. It’s about two years as No.1.
“Usyk is a really dangerous fighter. I’m very pleased AJ vs Fury is a simple fight to work out, money wise I think, and this will upset people, it is a straight forward fight for Joshua. I’m not so sure about Usyk.
“He can box, he’s got great feet and he’s got some power and is growing into a heavyweight. Actually this delay with COVID-19 hasn’t done Usyk any harm whatsoever. Given him more time to adjust. He’s going to be a major player.
“Somehow we’ve got to cut through all of that.”