Boxing

A Timeline for the Two 2021 Fights Between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury Has Been Set but There’s a Catch

Fight fans have longed for a clash between heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. So when it was announced earlier this year that the pair of British boxers, who hold all of the heavyweight titles, had agreed to terms on not one but two fights in 2021, people went crazy. No dates or venues were set at the time but promoter Eddie Hearn recently revealed a potential timeline for the two bouts, although he’s still not quite sure where they would take place. However, a small snag remains. Both Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have title defenses in December and if one of them happens to lose, that could create a big mess.

Tyson Fury is set to fight on December 5 but doesn’t yet have an opponent

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The last time Tyson Fury was in the ring was this past February when he famously destroyed Deontay Wilder in their highly-anticipated rematch, a victory in which Fury claimed The Ring and WBC heavyweight crowns. The two were tentatively set for a third fight in July but was postponed due to COVID-19. It was thought that the trilogy bout would take place in late 2020 or early 2021 but that seems to be on hold for now.

Tyson Fury is set for a fight on December 5 in London but, at this point, nobody knows who his opponent will be. Most believe that he won’t be taking on anyone that can truly challenge him. Agit Kabayel, the WBC’s 15th-ranked heavyweight, and Carlos Takam, who was knocked out by Anthony Joshua three years ago, are the two names being thrown around the most. So there shouldn’t be too much to worry about with Tyson Fury.

Anthony Joshua has a tough fight with Kubrat Pulev on December 12

The biggest threat to a title unification bout between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua is Kubrat Pulev, who is set to face Joshua at the O2 Arena in London on December 12. The 39-year-old Bulgarian is 28-1, his only loss coming back in 2014 to then-heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. He has a lot of punching power but is also very tactical in his approach and could create some real problems for Anthony Joshua.

Joshua hasn’t fought since last December when he defeated John Ruiz Jr., avenging the only loss of his career and winning back the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.

Promoter Eddie Hearn lays out a potential timeline for the two Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury bouts

Anthony Joshua Tyson Fury
(L-R) Anthony Joshua; Tyson Fury | David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for BOSS; Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Assuming all goes well in their respective fights in December, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua will likely have their first fight in the spring with the second to follow six months later, at least according to promoter Eddie Hearn. Hearn, who has put on some of the biggest fights in the UK and staged Joshua’s second fight with Ruiz in Saudi Arabia last year, told Sky Sports Boxing that no venues have yet been set but hopes that at least one of the bouts will occur in the UK.

“Probably May, June, and then November, December. April, May, June, and then November, December.

“If one of those fights at least didn’t take place in the UK it would be a shame.

“We will take all the offers that will come from all around the world and present them to both teams and both fighters. Ultimately, normally, the biggest offer wins.”

Eddie Hearn

All that’s left to do now is to wait and see if Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua can make it through their respective fights unscathed.