A deal for the long-awaited world heavyweight unification title fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could be agreed within days, according to promoter Eddie Hearn.
Joshua knocked out Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena on Saturday to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO belts and clear another potential hurdle standing between himself and a lucrative showdown with Fury.
Hearn confirmed in the aftermath of the fight that talks over a 'Battle of Britain' clash in 2021 will ramp up on Monday and has now revealed he expects a contract to be signed imminently.
Asked how long it will realistically take to complete a deal between both camps, Hearn was quoted by BBC Sport as saying: "A couple of days. There is no reason we cannot complete the deal and then move on and solve the other problems.
"We need to write to the governing bodies and say yes we have a deal and we will now talk to the various sites and confirm the dates shortly for what I suppose will be the end of May."
Less talk. More action. pic.twitter.com/3pGukgf2pi— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyfjoshua) December 13, 2020
Fury reclaimed the WBC heavyweight belt by ending Deontay Wilder's unbeaten streak in February with a sensational seventh-road stoppage in their much-anticipated rematch in Las Vegas.
However, he has not been in action since as plans for a trilogy between the pair in July were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, while a possible return to the ring in December against another opponent was ruled out last month.
Joshua may be told by the WBO that he has to face mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, meanwhile, but Matchroom promoter Hearn remains confident of getting the bout on in 2021.
"The only hitch I can think of is Wilder. If the court order the Fury rematch, and it doesn't sound as though they will, then it is out of our hands," he said. "That is the only way it falls through is if something stops their side.
"That isn't me saying they don't want it, they do, but if the court orders it then we will have to fight Usyk.
"The WBO probably on Monday will email to say you have 30 days to start negotiations with Usyk. [Bob] Arum seems very confident that the fight (Wilder-Fury) is not on. Unless he has made complete balls up, it sounds like the fight is dead."
There is no doubting Fury's eagerness for the fight, with the 32-year-old having posted a video to his official Twitter account on Saturday promising a quick win in a meeting with Joshua.
"He got asked if he wants the fight and he went around the bushes," Fury said in the video.
"I want the fight. I want the fight next – I will knock him out inside three rounds. He's a big bum dosser, I can't wait to knock him out."