All roads are now leading to a huge contest in 2021 after Joshua produced a brutal ninth-round stoppage of resilient IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on his first appearance for 12 months in front of 1,000 returning fans at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
It was said back in June that Joshua – who on Saturday night successfully mounted the first defence of the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO belts he regained from Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in December 2019 – and Fury had verbally agreed terms on a two-fight deal after years of speculation and hurdles, though the path to such a mammoth bout remained littered with obstacles.
Not only did Joshua have to come through successfully against Pulev, but there are also issues such as WBC champion Fury not having fought since February after walking away from a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder and then seeing a proposed December homecoming clash cancelled.
There are also the respective demands of the WBO and WBC mandatories, which as it stands are Oleksandr Usyk and the winner of the rematch between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin.
However, both Matchroom chief Hearn and long-time Top Rank boss Arum – who promote Joshua and Fury respectively – have now signalled their intention after Joshua’s stoppage of Pulev to immediately agree a fight that would determine the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since Lennox Lewis.
“I think I’ve talked a lot over the years, but as he [Joshua] said, it’s less talk, more action,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Since he came into the office he wanted to be the undisputed champion of the world.
“Less talk from us, more action. We’re going to be friendly, we’re going to be nice. We know what we have to do starting from tomorrow, we make the Tyson Fury fight straightaway.
“It’s the only fight to be made in boxing, it’s the biggest fight in boxing. It’s the biggest fight in British boxing history.
“I know he wants it. He [Joshua] is the best heavyweight in the world, I promise you. He’ll break them down, knock them out.
“From me, less talk, more action. We know what we have to do. We know what we want to do, it’s about legacy and we will get it done.”
Taking to social media, meanwhile, Arum labelled Joshua vs Fury as the biggest heavyweight showdown since Muhammad Ali first met Joe Frazier in the so-called ‘Fight of the Century’ at Madison Square Garden 49 years ago.
“It looks like the stage is set for the biggest Heavyweight championship fight since Ali-Frazier in 1971, when Tyson Fury meets Anthony Joshua for the undisputed crown,” he tweeted.
“We at Top Rank will start on Monday working to put that fight together.”