The latest UK lockdown announcement has all but ended the chance of the Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury super-fight being staged on home soil.
AJ’s promoter and Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn has been busy in the last few weeks, assessing the options in where to stage the would-be event and it has emerged that Singapore have now joined the growing list of countries bidding to stage the showdown for the undisputed heavyweight title.
Logistically, there was only ever slim hope of the clash happening in the UK because of the financial necessity of a full crowd, but Hearn has now confirmed that the increased restrictions have effectively removed that possibility altogether.
The Middle East remains the most likely destination, with approaches received from Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar, whilst there is further interest across the US and China .
Both Joshua and Fury are of course no strangers to the dessert. In December 2019, Joshua regained his IBF, WBA & WBO titles against Andy Ruiz Jr and in that same month the self-styled “Gypsy King” took on Braun Strowman in a WWE exhibition.
Hearn told Sportsmail this week that Singapore have also emerged as a possibility for a fight that will require a record site fee to help cover purses that could reach up to £100m for each Britain’s heavyweight stars.
With the fighters’ financial split already agreed at 50-50, and the winner then set to receive 60-40 for the rematch, Hearn is confident that the remaining finer details of the deal, including the location and broadcasting arrangement, can be concluded within a fortnight.
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Hearn said: ‘Even before this current situation there was no guarantee that we would do the first fight in the UK because it was almost impossible that we would get clearance to have, say, 90,000 at Wembley in late May.
‘There have been a lot of conversations between both sides in the past couple of weeks and we’re optimistic that we can tie up stuff in the next fortnight.’
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