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Eddie Hearn has already started Joshua-Fury talks with Arum for December

Image: Eddie Hearn has already started Joshua-Fury talks with Arum for December

By Kenneth Friedman: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s already had several conversations with Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum to set the groundwork for a possible unification fight between IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and WBC champ Tyson Fury for December.

Hearn said he’s been talking with Arum all along in negotiating the Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev fight for June 20th, so it wasn’t a big deal for him to discuss the Fury-Joshua fight for December. Eddie wants to start negotiations now before Joshua’s title defense against Pulev, and Fury’s trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder. The Fury-Wilder 3 fight is expected to take place on July 18.

Hearn has spoken to Arum on Joshua vs. Fury talks

“Of course, I have,” said Hearn to IFL TV when asked if he’s spoken to Bob Arum on putting a fight together between Joshua and Fury. “Firstly, I’ve been negotiating the Pulev [vs. Joshua] fight with him. So how many times have I spoken to Bob Arum in the last three weeks?

“A half a dozen times? A dozen? How many times have I spoken to Bob Arum about the Fury vs. Joshua fight? Four times. Of course, I’ve spoken to Bob Arum. It’s the biggest. Even if I didn’t, ‘I don’t want the fight. I really don’t want to make the biggest fight. I definitely don’t want to make the biggest fight, and I don’t want my client, my friend AJ to have the undisputed fight to make this huge [fight].

“No, I don’t.’ What do you think? Bob Arum isn’t going to call me about it? Mate, this geezer [Arum] is all over it like a rat up a drainpipe. He was the first one calling me. ‘Oh, what do we got to do to make this fight? How are we going to make this fight? Blah-blah-blah-blah. We’ve been talking loads.

Unless Hearn wants to offer Wilder a tremendous amount of money for him to step aside, he’s going to face Fury in July and hope for the best.

Joshua has to do his part as well in beating Pulev, who is a big guy and he’s capable of generating power on his shots. This is going to be Pulev’s Super Bowl when he faces Joshua, and he’ll likely be fighting considerably better than we’ve seen from him lately.

Eddie optimistic on making Joshua-Fury fight

“I haven’t seen Frank’s interview where he says Bob Arum definitely hasn’t had a conversation with me about the Fury against AJ fight,” said Hearn. “F—- hell. I mean, seriously. We ain’t been negotiating the fight exchanging contracts, but we’ve had several conversations about Fury-Joshua.

“Very [optimistic]. We talked about how the fight would work out and how the broadcasters would work. Again, it wasn’t like drafting contracts. It was just an obvious conversation to have between two promoters of the guys that make up the biggest fight in world boxing. All that was said was, ‘Let’s get around the table, let’s see how it works, and let’s go.’

“I have no problem sitting around the table with Bob, and if it has to be with Frank and if it has to be with MTK. No problem. On our side, it’s very simple in how to get a fight done with AJ. It’s not, ‘Oh, he said this. No, I’m the man. Nah, I’m the man. No, you can’t do this without me.’

“How many people is he paying percentages to, Tyson Fury? I don’t know. All these people? Madness, but anyway. I’m more than happy to talk with Frank, Bob or MTK or whatever. We’ll all probably all wind up getting together and trying to get it done. I don’t know [how realistic it is to get the Joshua vs. Fury fight done],” said Hearn.

As long as Hearn isn’t under the illusion that he’s going to be able to convince Deontay Wilder to step aside, he should be able to put together a deal with Arum no problems for December. Hearn wants Wilder to step aside so that he can make the Joshua-Fury fight now, but that’s never going to happen.

Joint broadcast for Fury vs. Joshua doesn’t bother Hearn

“They’ve got to come together and say, ‘This is what we’ve got to do.’ Not, ‘He’s saying that he’s saying that, and he’s saying that.’ All I know is Tyson has the first and last deal with BT,” said Hearn. “So what that means if someone can make an offer, and if they [BT] wants to match it, they can match it, OK?

“And for this last fight [Wilder vs. Fury 2], Sky made an offer, and BT decided to match it. So because of the performance of the pay-per-views, they may not want to match the next fight. I don’t know. But we don’t have an issue talking about a joint broadcast.

“There’s a million ways to skin a cat on this one, but I would definitely not rule out. I’m not going into this negotiations, ‘It must be on Sky otherwise we’re not going this fight.’ Of course, we’re happy to look at all different options and the same in America on DAZN and ESPN.

“And that’s the made-up conversation with Bob [Arum], and a lot of that was the ESPN-DAZN conversation because that is important in how the fight was shared and how the structure of that payment process and the price point for the pay-per-view,” said Hearn.

YouTube video

The Fury vs. Joshua fight is so big that it doesn’t matter if it’s shared between DAZN and ESPN, and Sky and BT. It’s going to sell well regardless. As long as Fury beats Wilder and looks good in doing so, the Joshua-Fury fight will do great numbers in a joint broadcast.

Hearn ready to make deal with Arum

“It’s also shared because that’s a different model for DAZN. That’s not a conversation for me to stick my nose in because that’s a DAZN-ESPN conversation,” said Hearn. “Regarding Sky and BT, I don’t have a problem talking about a joint broadcast. Once we find out about that deal, if it’s first-last, can Sky make and offer to do the whole fight?

“If not, don’t worry, we’ll do a joint broadcast, no problem. I don’t believe the joint broadcast or anything is going to get in the way of this fight because it’s so big,” said Hearn on the Fury vs. Joshua fight. “Arum actually thinks Pulev is going to beat Joshua because he said to me, ‘Are you not worried about the Pulev fight?’ ‘Why should I worry?’ ‘Because I think he’s going to win’ If he wins, he wins. It’s boxing, isn’t it? Nothing is a given in boxing, especially a given at heavyweight. One punch changes everything. Just like the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder rematch coming up.

“You fancy Tyson can beat Wilder, but one punch can change everything. I’d like to do the deal now [for the Joshua vs. Fury fight]. I’ve got full authority from AJ to do the deal that’s right for him, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t do that. Everybody wants that fight, and it makes the next two fights even more interesting,” said Hearn on Joshua’s title defense against Pulev and Fury’s rematch with Wilder,” said Hearn.

Arum is going to talk favorably about his fighter Kubrat Pulev regardless of what he thinks about his chances against Joshua. Hearn shouldn’t expect Arum to admit what he really thinks about Pulev’s chances. That would be crazy for him to do that.

Joshua could fight Usyk-Chisora winner in December 

“It’s like the semifinals to the find. It’s true, but you can’t be afraid to make plans,” said Hearn. “Yes, but Usyk has got to beat Chisora. If we [Joshua] don’t fight Fury or Wilder, if he wins, in December, then we will fight Oleksandr Usyk or Dereck Chisora. It’s [Usyk vs. Chisora] not a final eliminator, but if you beat #1, then generally you take the number one spot.

“His [Chisora] resurgence came a little bit later,” said Hearn when told that he was surprised that Chisora never fought Joshua. “Or Dillian Whyte [for Joshua in December]. Who knows? It could happen.

“It’s a cast-iron certainty that fight is going to happen at some point. But Dillian is waiting for his WBC mandatory on February 21 but I still believe the AJ-Dillian Whyte fight will happen,” said Hearn.

It’s not ideal for Joshua to face the winner of the Usyk vs. Chisora fight in December, but that’s a fight that Hearn has no problem making. If Hearn can’t get the winner of the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 3 fight for AJ in December, then he’ll have him defend against the Usyk-Chisora winning Usyk is Joshua’s WBO mandatory, and he must defend against him this year unless there’s the chance of him fighting in a unification match against the winner of the Wilder vs. Fury 3 fight. Usyk’s chances of getting a title shot against Joshua in 2020 are slim.

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