Saudi Arabia favorites to host Joshua-Fury

Contracts have been signed for Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to square off in the boxing ring later this year.

In what is the most-anticipated fight for a number of years, only a date and venue are yet to be agreed upon.

However, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn claimed last week that a venue has been agreed and that both camps are in the final stages of having that in writing soon.

According to ESPN, it is believed that Saudi Arabia will play host to the British heavyweight pair with a staggering fee upwards of $ 150 million.

Bookmakers are already giving odds on the fight with Tyson Fury somewhat surprisingly the current favorite. Sportsbook USA have Fury as the 8/15 favorite with Anthony Joshua out at 11/8.

This despite Joshua being the reigning WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion and haven’t fought much more recently than his opponent.

Joshua destroyed Kubrat Pulev back in December at the SSE Arena in London, finally putting the Bulgarian away in the ninth round. The 31-year-old has also previously fought in Saudi Arabia, when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr in a rematch in December 2019.

Tyson Fury has a lot of time to make up, having not fought in over a year, since beating Deontay Wilder in February 2020. He currently holds the WBC and Ring magazine titles and is 30-0-1 in his career. That draw, against Wilder, was controversial, as he was the obvious winner to everyone but the judges.

Whilst most British boxing fans would want the fight staged at Wembley Stadium, it all comes down to money and that makes it very unlikely the fight will take place in London.

However, Saudi Arabia would likely be a more popular destination that the United States for fans as the country is only two hours ahead, meaning fans can enjoy the fight down their local pubs and bars with friends. Fights in the States, particularly Las Vegas, take place in the middle of the night.

It is being rumors that the fight will take place in late July, around two weeks after the Euro 2020 football tournament finishes. This would make it the only major sporting event taking place at the time – a big factor when it comes to pay-per-view buys.

Anthony Joshua is one of the biggest sporting draws in the history of boxing. Only Muhammed Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquaio, Oscar De La Hoya and Evander Holyfield have sold more pay-per-views.

The champion’s numbers are particularly impressive given the charts are dominated by Americans, where pay-per-views are much more popular than his homeland, and that he is the highest ranked active boxer, in an era where less television is being watched compared to yesteryear .

Tyson Fury is a big draw too so you can expect this battle to be one of the biggest sporting draws of the year. Regardless of two Brits being in the ring you can expect the whole world to be watching.