LONDON: World heavyweight champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua could fight in Saudi Arabia, Fury’s promoter said Sunday, after his boxer destroyed Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.
Speculation is rife over who Fury will face next after the “Gypsy King” twice knocked down Wilder to seal an emphatic victory. Most pundits are hoping for a “Battle of the Brits” with Tyson and Joshua currently holding all four heavyweight belts between them.
Joshua fought Andy Ruiz Jr in Diriyah near Riyadh in December and his team said previously there is an offer to fight the winner of the Fury, Wilder fight in the Kingdom.
Fury was also inside a ring in Saudi Arabia in October when he took part in WWE’s Crown Jewel event in Riyadh.
Frank Warren, Fury’s promoter, refused to rule out Saudi Arabia as a venue for the “Battle of the Brits.”
“In a dreamscape it should be in London but they’re professional athletes,” Warren said. “These guys have short careers, they go where the money is.
“It’s the boxers who get in the ring and they’ll make the choices.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said last month that they have a “huge site offer in place” for the fight to take place in Saudi Arabia.
Describing it as a “big option,” Hearn said: “We have a partnership out there in Saudi Arabia.
“They put the money up for the Andy Ruiz fight. Everything they promised, they delivered.
“They want this fight bad and when they've got that kind of attitude and mentality, it's going to be difficult to beat.”
Several hurdles remain in place for Fury to face Joshua.
Wilder, who held his title for five years, has 30 days to invoke a rematch clause against Fury.
Joshua is scheduled to fight Kubrat Pulev at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in June, but Hearn has suggested that match could be canceled to make way for a clash with Fury.
Another obstacle would be how to split the prize money. Warren suggested a 50-50 split would be generous to Joshua after the scale of Fury’s win in Las Vegas.
“In my time I’ve been involved with some big fights and some big fighters,” Warren said. “This is without doubt the best performance by a British fighter - not abroad, but ever.”
Joshua’s fight against Ruiz was the biggest boxing event held in Saudi Arabia and part of a drive to make the Kingdom a venue for the world’s biggest sporting events.
The fight took place on a rainy night at the purpose built 15,000 seat Diriyah Arena.
Joshua beat Ruiz with a unanimous points decision from the judges, reclaiming his world heavyweight belts.