Eddie Hearn insists that Anthony Joshua would have no qualms fighting Tyson Fury this summer if the latter’s fight with Oleksandr Usyk fails to materialize.
England’s Fury, the WBC titlist, and Ukraine’s Usyk, the WBO, WBA, IBO and IBF champion, are currently in deep talks for the undisputed heavyweight championship.
Negotiations, however, have apparently hit a turbulent stretch after it became clear that the fight will no longer likely take place in the Middle East, where both fighters would have received career high paydays. According to an ESPN report, the parties are now at loggerheads regarding the financial split as it appears the fight could wind up being staged in the United Kingdom, possibly at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, recently said that if Usyk-Fury talks collapse, Joshua would be willing to face the Manchester native in the summer. Joshua and Fury have explored the possibility of fighting each other at least a couple of times before. Most recently, they were in advanced negotiations to fight each other in December, but they failed to get a deal over the line.
In any case, even if Usyk, 36, and Fury, 34, fail to get in the ring in the spring, a Fury-Joshua fight would not be next. Joshua, 33, is scheduled to face Jermaine Franklin of Michigan on April 1 at The O2 Arena.
“We’d be open to that (Fury) fight,” Hearn told iFL TV. “If Usyk doesn’t fight Fury, AJ will fight Fury next, in the summer, if he gets through Franklin. How about that? Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. He will.”
“I have no idea whether Fury-Usyk is going to happen or not,” Hearn added. “I can give you my opinion. But I’m telling you, if that fight doesn’t happen, we will take the Fury fight.
“[Joshua] will take that fight, he will take the [former heavyweight champion Deontay] Wilder fight, he’ll take them all.”
Hearn made it clear that he believes a Fury-Joshua fight is “much bigger” than a Fury-Usyk fight.
“But don’t be surprised to see that fight in the summer if the other one doesn’t happen because that’s much bigger than the Usyk fight,” Hearn said. “Much bigger.”
After Hearn’s remarks circulated, Fury maintained he would have “no business” with Joshua.
“There’s no business between me and him to be done,” Fury said of Joshua in an interview with SPORTbible. “Finished. From 2017 to, however long it’s been, 2022—trying to make a fight. So, it’s not happening.”