• November 28, 2023

Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury: British boxers to meet on 14 August in Saudi Arabia

BBC Sport looks back on the verbal barbs and insults Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury traded

Tyson Fury says his heavyweight title bout with Anthony Joshua will take place in Saudi Arabia on August 14th.

The all-British fight has been considered one of the greatest in heavyweight boxing for decades and the winner becomes the undisputed champion.

Joshua, 31, holds the WBA, WBO, and IBF belts while Fury, 32, is a WBC Champion.

The fight will see all four belts on the line in a heavyweight fight for the first time in history.

The last undisputed heavyweight champion was Briton Lennox Lewis from 1999 to 2000, at a time when fighters didn’t have to hold the WBO belt to be recognized as the undisputed champion.

Announcing the fight date on a video on Twitter, Fury said, “All eyes in the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I can’t wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the greatest stage of all time.”

“This will be the greatest sporting event that has ever taken place on planet earth. Don’t miss it.”

Plans for a fight between the two were set in motion when Fury defeated Deontay Wilder to claim the WBC title last February.

That came two months after Joshua avenged his only career loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. at the Diriyah Arena, a fight that also took place in Saudi Arabia.

While the news of the fight is one of boxing’s worst-kept secrets, neither Joshua, his promoter Eddie Hearn, nor Fury’s co-promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren have officially confirmed that it will take place.

Last week, Hearn said the fight would take place in Saudi Arabia but Fury didn’t mention a venue.

Saudi Arabia has been criticized by activists who have accused the Middle East country of attempting to “sportwash” its human rights record.

“The real question is whether Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury and their teams will just go along with it.” said Felix Jakens, spokesman for Amnesty International UK.

When Joshua fought Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia in 2019, his promoter was Hearn persisted The Saudi commitment was “here to stay in boxing”, calling critics “hypocrites” and repeatedly citing the fact that other sports institutions had worked in the country.


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