Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua will not take place on British soil in 2021 despite talks going well over an undisputed heavyweight unification.
Fury puts his WBC title on the line against WBA, IBF, and WBO ruler Joshua, with both sides in the midst of thrashing out a deal.
There are essential questions, though. Like why UK fans must miss out on the most famous British top division battle in years regarding the venue.
There are calls to delay until later in 2021 for a crowd to be present. However, those are falling on deaf ears.
Even with two ready-made interim opponents in Deontay Wilder and Oleksandr Usyk, promoters continue to look at some alternative venues with less strict Covid-19 rules.
The inclusion of the United States on a shortlist of six, though, is raising multiple questions.
Why would a stateside arena be any less dangerous than staging in the United Kingdom this summer?
USA has the most daily case by a long stretch and four times as many deaths per day as the UK.
Also, the UK’s vaccination program is the best in the world right now. Jabs mean Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua would stand a good chance of happening there by July or August.
Why not wait a few months until England opens up fully? – It’s quite unfathomable.
The UK being off the table would almost certainly mean the USA is not a viable option either in that case.
None-the-less, Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn named six potential countries to stage, with Saudi Arabia still the favorite and the Middle East or Asia most likely.
“I don’t want to say too much, other than we’re going well,” Hearn told Sky Sports in an update on talks.
“We’re now papering the fight, in terms of the contracts, a period of the battle to take place. We are looking out to go to the various sites that have made offers in the next stages.
“To discuss the fight and the date with them.
“All I want to tell you really is we’re on track and I don’t see anything derailing it.
“We’re talking to Saudi Arabia. And we’re talking to Qatar, talking to Dubai. We’re talking to Singapore, and we’re talking to China, talking to America.
“We all know everybody would like this fight in the UK. Can we hand on heart say that in May, we can have 100,000 people in Wembley? I think very unlikely.”
Based on Covid-19 vaccinations alone, the UK would be ready well before the US. But at this point, minds seem to be already set on the Middle East staging.