Saudi Arabia will reportedly part ways with a record nine-figure sum to host Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury’s heavyweight unification clash this summer.
The British pair, who share all the world heavyweight titles available, have agreed a two-fight deal that will result in all belts belonging to one man for the first time since Lennox Lewis in 1999.
The first of the two bouts will take place this summer, with Joshua and Fury agreeing to meet in the Middle East after being presented with offers from the United States.
UK and Asia to host the mega-fight.
And according to ESPN, the Saudis will front up a mammoth £108 million to put on the event, with AJ and Fury each walking away with a cool £54 million apiece.
Joshua was last in Saudi Arabia in December 2019 when he took on Andy Ruiz Jr for a second time having given up his crown to the Mexican-American in New York City.
The total site for that bout was just £43.25 million in comparison.
AJ’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, had expressed concern over the viability of holding an event in the desert in the summer, with temperatures due to be soaring high for the expected July or August date.
However, it is likely that the bout will take place in an indoor arena in Jeddah, almost 600 miles from Diriyah, where Joshua defeated Ruiz Jr in 2019.
“We have [site deal] contracts now that we are marking up and so forth,” Bob Arum, Fury’s US promoter with Top Rank, told BoxingScene on Friday.
“It’s a big step. We’re just doing the paperwork now with the Saudis.”
Commenting on Arum’s remarks regarding Saudi Arabia, Hearn told talkSPORT: “They’ve signed the contract. We presented them both with an offer from a site, which they both approved and accepted.
“We are dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s and you will get an announcement soon, but that fight is going to be happening this summer.
“It is one of the biggest of all time, probably the sporting event of 2021, so fingers crossed – we are nearly there.
“I keep saying we are nearly there but, as I said, site approved, deal approved, everything done now.
“We are just papering it and there will be an official announcement soon.”