Hearn says Joshua-Fury is an unmakeable fight
By Allan Fox: Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn says he expects former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to ink with promoter Frank Warren, but the only way a big fight with Anthony Joshua will take place is with him.
Hearn says a fight between Fury and Joshua would be extremely difficult if they were on rival networks. Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is with Sky Sports. If Fury ends up on BT Sports, it would make the fight a big problem to try and make.
Hearn says Fury told him during their recent discussions that he wants a 60-40 deal for a fight with Joshua. At first Hearn thought Fury was joking, but he soon realized that he’s dead serious. He believes he should be given top billing. Needless to say, that’s not going to work with Hearn. He believes Joshua should be the A-side in the negotiations. After all, Joshua is the IBF, WBA heavyweight champion, and Fury just a challenger. However, we just saw IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin wind up taking the short end of the stick for his money to fight challenger Saul Canelo Alvarez.
Being a champion doesn’t mean you get more money than your opponent. It normally does, but not always, as we saw with the Canelo-Golovkin fight. Canelo was given top billing and the lion’s share of the revenue. Canelo even was given a controversial 12 round draw in a fight that he appeared to lose.
Hearn is hoping that Fury will sign with his Matchroom Sport company so that he can make it easier to setup fights between him, Joshua, Tony Bellew and Dillian Whyte. However, it’s unclear whether Fury will be doing that. He might sign with another promoter. Hearn thinks he’ll wind up with Warren.
“The only way Fury is going to get the Joshua fight is with us,” said Hearn to the Independent. “’He said: ‘I want a 60/40 split and all the champion’s benefits,’” said Hearn in talking about Fury telling him he wanted the lion’s share of the money. ”He was deadly serious. He says Joshua is only where he is because of him,” said Hearn.
There’s too much money on the line for the Joshua vs. Fury fight not to get made. Hearn is talking tough, but once he runs out of opponents to match against Joshua, he’ll have second thoughts about the Fury fight and want to make it more than ever.
It might be a good thing that the Joshua vs. Fury fight doesn’t get made right away. If Hearn believes that Fury doesn’t rate the same kind of money that Joshua is getting, then it’s not a fight that should get made right now. If Fury is able to start winning again and fighting in front of big crowds on pay-per-view, then the fight will get easier to make. Hearn won’t push for a bigger split for Joshua, and the two fighters can get the fight done. But right now with Fury coming off of a 2-year-old layoff, Hearn isn’t going to give him the better deal, because he believes Joshua is now the king of the hill.
Fury is still acting as if time has been frozen since his win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. Fury is coming back from that state of mind, thinking he’s still the same person and he’s still the top dog in the heavyweight division, and the top guy in the UK. Hearn isn’t going to give Fury parity because he believes Joshua, with his 2012 Olympic gold medal for UK, is now the top guy. That could change quickly if Joshua is knocked out by someone. Even then, Hearn will very likely insist on Joshua getting the bigger slice of the financial pie for Fury or any of his opponents. It’s going to take Joshua losing his fans and his popularity for Hearn to stop insisting that he deserves the bigger money.
“I don’t think Fury wants the AJ fight yet,” said Hearn. “He knows he will get mauled by Anthony Joshua if they fought now. I rate Fury, he’s hard to beat and awkward. I’m sorry, you cannot come back after that period out and compete with AJ,” said Hearn.
Wladimir Klitschko was out of boxing for 2 years and he almost beat Joshua in their fight last April. Wladimir would have won the fight if he’d stepped on the gas after he had Joshua hurt. Hearn must have forgotten how close Joshua was to losing to Klitschko. If 41-year-old past his pas Klitschko was able to take Joshua to the brink of a defeat, then 29-year-old Fury certainly has the chance to beat him if he’s in shape and has had enough tune-ups to get his skills back. Heavyweight boxing isn’t like tennis or golf. Those are sports where you can’t ease your foot off the gas pedal and expect to get back to close to where you were before. In the heavyweight division, fighters can stay out of the ring and come back and find success if they have power, conditioning and a good boxing brain. George Foreman and Muhammad Ali did it.
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