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Hearn: Middle East venues in place for Fury-Joshua

The projected undisputed heavyweight title fight between WBC king Tyson Fury and WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua could be headed to an indoor arena in the Middle East on July 24.

After months of tireless negotiations, and a deal agreed in principle, this weekend is the deadline for the all-important location and venue to be decided. With murmurs that the mega-bout might fall through, buoyed by less than encouraging vibes from Fury and his father John, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn remains confident that the heavyweight championship fight will become a reality.

Among the options to be presented will be purpose-built, indoor arenas in the Middle East as the weather conditions in July have been deemed too extreme for a bout to take place outside. Wembley Stadium remains an outside shot though the current Covid-19 restrictions are likely to block that option.

“Nothing is ideal,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “If it was ideal, we’d just be in Wembley with 100,000. But I don’t know whether Tyson Fury would accept that offer. We may see on Sunday.

“But if it’s 20,000 or 15,000 in an arena, all the Middle East offers have been based on an indoor arena.

“We know it’s hot there in July, of course, so there is no option to go outside. It has to be in an indoor arena and those arenas are already in place, ready to stage this fight.”

Fury and Joshua originally agreed to a two-fight series last year, but the all-important location and site fee, to help accommodate two gargantuan purses during the pandemic, remain the crucial stumbling block with time running out to finalise a deal.