Is Matchroom afraid to let Joshua fight Fury?
By Scott Gilfoid: Tyson Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has doubts whether Matchroom Boxing wants to let IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua face WBC champ, Tyson Fury. If Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) gets beaten by Fury, Matchroom would have a BIG problem, according to Warren.
If Warren is right about Matchroom not wanting to put Joshua in with Fury, that might explain the way lack of excitement that Eddie Hearn shows every time he talks about a potential fight between AJ and the Gypsy King. Warren isn’t the only one that has a gut feeling that Matchroom doesn’t want to let Joshua have anything to do with Fury.
A lot of boxing fans feel that way as well. Joshua is the cash cow for Matchroom, and if he loses, they may not be able to rebuild him again. It worked last time against Andy Ruiz, but perhaps only because he didn’t train and came in 18 pounds overweight at 283.
Joshua was able to absorb a loss to Ruiz Jr. without it crippling his career, but it could be a different situation if Fury beats him. With both guys coming from the UK, it would be a colossal disaster for Joshua if he were to get beaten by Fury.
The UK mountain isn’t big enough for both of them. If Fury beats Joshua, he might not be able to rebuild again. Picture Joe Calzaghe vs. Jeff Lacy in your minds as an example of a fighter that couldn’t come back from a loss.
Will Matchroom let Joshua fight Fury?
Typically, Hearn is over the moon when he’s blabbering about potential opponents for his Matchroom stable fighters. Hearn gets a gleam in his eyes that suggests that he knows how the fights are going to end up.
But when Hearn talks about Fury-Joshua, he looks off-kilter, and not overly excited about it. He has the look of someone that is about to go to the dentist, doesn’t he?
“I don’t think Matchroom wants to put AJ in with Tyson,” Waren told @MichaelBensonn. “I’ve got a gut feeling they don’t want it; I think that’s for a reason. I think Tyson’s the best heavyweight on the planet. If Tyson, which I believe he will, beats AJ, then they’ve got a problem.”
So there it is. Warren thinks Matchroom isn’t excited about letting Joshua fight Fury, which makes perfect sense. If Gilfoid were Joshua’s promoter, the last fighter on earth, he would want to let AJ fight is Fury. You don’t make that fight if you’re going to keep the gravy train running. It’s too risky, and Joshua has looked too terrible in his recent fights to chance it.
It depends on how Joshua loses
If Fury beats Joshua by a close 12 round decision, Eddie Hearn could muddy the water by saying that AJ should have won. With Hearn’s ability to give tons of interviews, he would have a giant megaphone to plant the idea that Joshua should have had his hand raised. In that event, there would be enough impressionable fans that would buy into that Joshua was robbed of a win.
On the flip side, if Fury completely smashes Joshua to bits, then it’ll be near impossible for Hearn to explain away that kind of loss. He’ll still try, but he’ll look pathetic if he starts talking about Joshua being sick, having an injury of some sort, or his weight not being right. Boxing fans can see through the excuses, and understand when promoters are attempting to rationalize what happened to their fighters.
Hearn doesn’t want to risk letting him fight Fury; then the negotiations may go haywire and end up with the fight not being made. An excellent example of the talks imploding was when Deontay Wilder’s team attempted to put a fight together with Joshua. Hearn started talking flat fees, and how Wilder doesn’t bring in as many fans as Joshua.
There was an offer made by Wilder’s management that wasn’t accepted. The negotiations fizzled out quickly for the Wilder-Joshua fight, leaving one with the impression that Hearn never had any real intentions in making that fight, to begin with. Will we see the same thing with the Fury vs. Joshua negotiations? Don’t be surprised.
Joshua is too valuable to lose to Fury
AJ is too vital for Matchroom for him to lose to the 6’9″ Fury, and besides that, it’s the wrong guy. If Joshua is going to lose to someone, it’s better for it to be against a foreign fighter, isn’t it?
There’s no one in Matchroom’s table right now that will be able to step in and replace Joshua as their next golden goose should he get smashed to bits by Fury. Hearn has a lot of good fighters in his stable, but none of them are big money makers like AJ. Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora bring in good money from Sky Box Office when they fight, but they’re both beatable. Once either of them faces a good heavyweight like Fury or Deontay Wilder, it could be over with for them.
Replacements for Joshua:
- Dillian Whyte
- Dereck Chisora
- Oleksandr Usyk
Even in Joshua’s win over Andy Ruiz Jr. last December, he looked mentally fragile the entire fight. One got the impression that Joshua might implode at any moment in that clash if Ruiz Jr. had shown the nerve to attack him.
It was so lucky on Joshua’s part that Ruiz Jr. was morbidly overweight, and not in the condition to press the attack as he had in their first fight in 2019.
Joshua is Matchroom’s golden goose, and if Fury plucks his feathers, it’s could be a trainwreck for the promotional company. How do they replace Joshua as their gravy train fighter?
The fact is, they can’t. No one with Matchroom even comes close to the popularity that AJ has for them, and no one bring in that kind of green, is there?
Warren believes that there’s a concern on Matchroom’s part because they know Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) is the best heavyweight in the world right now.
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