Anthony Joshua’s proposed clash with Tyson Fury will take place in a purpose-built stadium in Saudi Arabia on August 14, according to Eddie Hearn.
Despite that being only 13 weeks away, Hearn said plans are in place for an entirely new venue to stage the fight for the undisputed heavyweight title.
While no specific locations have been divulged, sources have indicated to Sportsmail it will be in Jeddah.
The August 14 date would appear to clear the scheduling conflict of Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken, who will be leading the British boxing team at the Tokyo Olympics until August 8.
However, it seems inconceivable that Joshua would prepare for the biggest fight of his life without his mentor in camp for several weeks.
That is one of several reasons why significant figures around the fight remain sceptical that the negotiations will culminate in a bout before the autumn. In contrast, Hearn says a summer clash is effectively a done deal and will be announced shortly.
Discussing the venue, Hearn said: ‘Last time, they built a stadium for the Andy Ruiz Jnr fight in just seven weeks and it held 18,000.
‘They have the opportunity to hold it indoors but they want to create something that will shock the world.’
August 7 had been mooted as a potential date for the heavyweight fight, but Fury’s UK promoter, Frank Warren, says that the Olympics in Tokyo, where AJ’s trainer Rob McCracken is coaching, makes that date a no-go.
‘It definitely won’t be on August 7 because that’s when the Olympic games are on and that’s going to be a problem for TV,’ he told talkSPORT. ‘Besides that, you’ve got a UFC PPV in the States and UK.
Hearn said on Tuesday that negotiations are now at a point where the deal must be closed.
‘We’re in a stage where people are getting frustrated. The deal is done.
‘Now we’re on the finer details of the contract, which came back last Friday. It went back last night.
‘They are on calls now in the office about it, and I think at some point people are going to have to take a little bit of a leap of faith in this deal.