Hearn says Joshua won’t wait for Fury to take an interim fight in 2021
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn is adamant that Anthony Joshua WON’T wait around WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to take an interim fight in early 2021, be it against Deontay Wilder or someone else. Eddie is giving Fury an ultimatum: Fight Joshua if he gets by Kubrat Pulev on December 12th or we’re moving on.
Hearn says Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) has his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk that he would have to take care of if Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs).
If Joshua wanted to keep his WBO title, he would have to face Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs), and the only avoiding him is to vacate or fight Fury.
None of this will matter if Joshua doesn’t win his next fight against his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on December 12th. If AJ wins that, he wants to go immediately into a fight with Fury.
Unfortunately for Joshua, Fury is dealing with an arbitrator in the U.S over the rematch with Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs). If they rule in Wilder’s favor, Fury will have to face him in February or March. At that point, Joshua will have no other choice but to move on and take care of Usyk.
Hearn: We’re not waiting for Fury to fight in March
Of course, there is an easy solution to this problem. Joshua needs to get rid of the WBO strap, which is viewed by some boxing fans as a trinket title and not as prestigious as the IBF, WBA, and WBC titles.
As bad as Joshua looked in his two fights against Andy Ruiz Jr, I’d favor Usyk to beat him. It doesn’t matter that the 6’3″ Usyk would be giving away 30+ pounds and three inches in height to the 6’6″ Joshua.
He’s just a much better fighter, and capable of outwitting Joshua and wearing him down the way Ruiz Jr did.
“I don’t know what’s happening with the Fury stuff,” said Hearn. “I saw comments yesterday from Frank Warren saying basically, ‘We couldn’t find the money to get Tyson Fury out this year.
“That’s a horrendous look because that’s your A-star fighter. You have to find a way to get him out. But now the courts are in a meeting are they. They have a couple of weeks to decide if he [Fury] has to honor the rematch.
“Arum is saying, ‘We’re very confident of our position. I hope they are because we’re [Joshua] not waiting for Fury to fight in March. If AJ beats Pulev, that’s our May fight or June fight at the latest.
“Arum says Pulev is going to knock AJ out and there won’t be a problem. But he says if AJ beats Pulev, we’ll go straight into that fight [with Fury]. I hope so because we can’t wait around. So just hold your horses until December 12th.
“That’s the key date in the heavyweight caliber because if AJ can beat Pulev, we want to make that fight immediately for the late spring-early summer of 2021,” said Hearn.
The way that Hearn in such a rush to make the fight with Fury suggests that he doesn’t trust Joshua’s ability to hang in there for another fight of two. I smell fear coming from Hearn, and it’s pretty clear he has NO faith in Joshua’s ability to defeat Usyk.
Hearn giving Fury an ultimatum
“We don’t want to wait around for him to have another interim fight,” said Hearn about him not wanting to wait for Fury to fight another interim match before fighting Anthony Joshua in 2021.
“The path was very clear. He was fighting on December 5th. He told everyone he was fighting no matter what, and then we’re fighting on December 12th and then fighting each other. It’s not, ‘we’ll fight on December 12th, and then you’ll fight in March and we’ll see what happens.
“We got the Usyk situation to sort out. As soon as we [Joshua] finish our fight, Usyk will be saying, ‘I’m mandatory now. Come on WBO, let’s go.’ So straight after our [Joshua vs. Pulev] fight, we need to know.
“Do you want that fight next or not? The answer has to be, ‘yes.’ We want the Fury fight, I can’t make it any clearer. The only fight that AJ wants if he beats Pulev is Tyson Fury. Bob [Arum] said, ‘We’ll hold fire. We’re three weeks away from that fight.
“If AJ gets the win [againt Pulev], bang, let’s get it on.’ 12th of December is the night. It’s judgment night,” said Hearn.
Fury, 32, could have his hands tied if the mediator decides that he must defend his WBC title against Wilder. You can tell that Fury wants no part of fighting Deontay after his latest win.
Joshua and Hearn need to calm down and let fate play out. If it was meant for Fury to fight Joshua in early 2021, it’ll happen. But Hearn has got to start showing confidence in Joshua and stop acting so needy. It’s a sign of weakness and insecurity.
Fury might not be able to beat Wilder a second time, especially if he comes out fast throwing heat-seeking missiles aimed at his lantern jaw.
It’s a bad idea for Hearn to assume that Joshua is going to beat Pulev (28-1, 14 KOs) because even at 39, he’s got better stamina than AJ. If Joshua gets tired against Pulev, he’ll likely get knocked out.
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