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Fight fans sensing heavyweight history

By MURRAY GREIG | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-15 09:23
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Anthony Joshua celebrates winning his fight against Andy Ruiz Jr. (not pictured) in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, Dec 7, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

Last July, Kinahan, an Irish citizen who lives in the Middle East, was identified in the High Court in Dublin as a "senior figure in organized crime on a global scale".

Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau said Kinahan "controls and manages" the operations of a group that smuggles drugs and guns into Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe and "has associations that facilitate international criminal activity in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America".

Fury said he received a phone call from Kinahan to confirm "the biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed".

But Joshua's promoter, Eddie Hearn, told Sky Sports News there are still "several obstacles to overcome" and no contracts have been signed.

"We're making great progress," Hearn said. "There is still a lot to overcome. We are looking at venues and dates. It's fair to say Joshua and Fury are in agreement regarding the financial terms of the fight.

"The most difficult part of any deal is the financial element. I believe we're in a great place where both guys have agreed to what that should be.

"The main positive news is that Joshua and Fury have agreed to a two-fight deal, in essence. The first fight could happen next summer."

The split for the first fight has been reported as 50-50, with the winner taking a 60-40 split in the second.

Joshua netted nearly $50 million for his second fight with Ruiz, while Fury earned an estimated $20 million for his first fight with Wilder before signing a five-fight deal with ESPN and Top Rank which is thought to be worth in excess of $100 million.

Hearn added he has been talking with Fury's management team, MTK Global, to help arrange the fight. Last month MTK CEO Sandra Vaughan said MTK had no association with Kinahan, but days later it announced a partnership with Middle East-based KHK Sports, which recently appointed Kinahan as an adviser.

As usual, the last word went to Fury.

"I've got to smash in Deontay Wilder's face in my next fight and then we go into the Joshua fight next year," he said.

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