COVID-19 is the biggest obstacle stopping Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury getting made in 2021.

AJ promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed the all-English heavyweight undisputed decider will only take place in the UK if 90,000 paying fans are allowed in Wembley.

With coronavirus and the worrying new strains flooring that plan, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar have been leading the race to host the first-leg of the planned double header.

But travel and lockdown restrictions across the globe are changing all the time, leaving the biggest fight in British history playing catch-up with the pandemic.

Hearn told DAZN: “We are close, contracts have been going backwards and forwards.

“The main thing is to get an agreement in place but we are in a very difficult period right now where we don’t know where we can get crowds for that time of year, May or June.

“The first thing to do is agree terms in full and then to go out and secure a date and venue for that fight.”

With WBA, IBF and WBO king Joshua having broadcast deals with Sky in the UK and DAZN and around the globe – and undefeated WBC boss Fury being tied to their direct rivals BT Sport in Britain and ESPN in the US – negotiations were expected to be tense.

But Hearn, who is dealing with Fury’s promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren, revealed they are running smoothly so far.

He said: “Things have been progressing really well over the last week, with things like terms and agreements.

“And I really believe you will see that fight at the end of May or early June in 2021.

“Everyone is working well and in the right direction.”

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