Eddie Hearn to begin Joshua vs. Fury negotiations on Monday
By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn reveals that he’ll start negotiations for a fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury beginning on Monday with promoter Bob Arum.
IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua got his IBF mandatory challenger 39-year-old Kubrat Pulev out of the way last Saturday night in stopping him in the ninth round in London, England at the Wembley Arena.
1,000 fans were on hand to watch Joshua beat up the 6’4 1/2″ Pulev in a boring fight. Joshua took advantage of Pulev’s inability to nullify the repeated uppercuts that he was throwing in the fight.
One way of keeping Joshua from landing that punch would have been to Pulev to stay on the outside, but he was too tired to stay on the outside by the ninth round.
Joshua hit Pulev with almost nothing but uppercuts from the eighth round until, finally, the big Bulgarian hit the deck in the ninth, and the fight was halted.
Joshua – Fury to fight in early 2021
The idea is to match Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) and Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) for early 2021, be it with all four heavyweight titles on the line or with just three.
Joshua’s WBO title may need to be vacated because he doesn’t want to take the time to defend it against mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
Boxing fans who would like to attend the Joshua – Fury fight will need to be ready to travel and pay top dollar to see it live, as it’s likely to occur in the Middle East.
With the pandemic still raging, it will mean a certain amount of risk health-wise for Joshua and Fury’s fans if they wish to travel to a foreign country to see it.
“In the third round, the fight should have been stopped. Pulev turned his back, and the referee gave him a standing eight count,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing about Joshua’s win over Pulev.
“I also think he [Pulev] threw way too many rabbit punches in the fight. Tonight, he delivered the punch-perfect knockout.
“He’s still the best heavyweight on the planet,” said Hearn about Joshua. “The third round was brutal. He hit Pulev with uppercuts and took him off his feet. For me, the fight should have been stopped; Pulev turned his back. I don’t know why the referee chose to count.
“The ropes weren’t holding him up, and he didn’t go down. He chose to give him a standing eight count, and AJ decided to bide his time. And in the seventh and eighth round, people thought Pulev was starting to get confident.
“He hit him with one right hand in the whole fight, and the finish was absolutely brutal. The right hand down the pipe was a curtain-closer.
Hearn gloating about AJ’s win
“Now some people say that ‘AJ doesn’t have concussive power, he never knocks anybody out.’ He [Pulev] was absolutely sparked out. It was just a great performance,” said Hearn.
The Joshua fight should have clearly been stopped in the third round last Saturday night when the 39-year-old Kubrat Pulev turned his back on AJ after being nailed him with a series of big shots.
But in a way, it was good that the fight wasn’t stopped early because it gave fans more chance of seeing Joshua in action. Also, it allowed Joshua to get some more rounds in to get the rust ut, given that he hadn’t fought in over a year.
Hearn to start immediately Joshua – Fury negotiations
“I haven’t seen because he’s blocked me on Twitter,” Hearn said in reacting to Tyson Fury in predicting a knockout of Joshua within two or three rounds. “We’ll see who s*** himself.
“Ultimately, AJ isn’t the kind of guy that is going to scream and shout on TV and call people dossers. That’s not his style. We’ll let Tyson do that, and we’ll sign the fight and get it done.
“Yeah, we’ll start talks tomorrow,” said Hearn in talking about Fury’s promoter Bob Arum saying he wants to start negotiations for the AJ fight on Monday. “There are about 19 people that claim to work with him [Fury] on that side.
“We know who we have to deal with, and we’ll get it done. We’re all for it. I can’t say there’s honestly one person that doesn’t want to move forward with that fight.
“Rather than just talking about it, let’s just keep it low-key, keep it under the radar and get it done because shouting and screaming doesn’t solve anything.
“That’s why you’re not going to hear AJ shouting and screaming about anything. All I can tell you from our side, we’re all in,” said Hearn.
“He’s blocked me on Twitter, so I’ve been unable to see it, which isn’t a good sign,” said Hearn about Fury predicting a third-round knockout of Joshua. I can’t make it clearer on our side that everybody wants the fight.
“It’s my job to deliver that fight next, and we should start that immediately,” said Hearn about the Joshua-Fury fight.
Is Joshua making a mistake?
It sounds like Hearn has learned his lesson about conducting his negotiations with opponents through the media, as that tends to make things difficult. There’s really not much to negotiate, though, for the Joshua vs. Fury fight. They’ve both already agreed to a 50-50 split.
The only things to iron out now are things like the location, when, and who walks out first, and other small items.
Fury has to be looking at his chances of winning the fight after watching the Joshua vs. Pulev fight, as AJ looked tentative, timid, and very limited.
Joshua couldn’t do much from the outside, and it looked like the time he was ever comfortable was when Pulev was in close. That was where Joshua was able to hit him with uppercuts repeatedly.
Fury isn’t likely to stay n the inside against Joshua, especially after he and his trainer study the Pulev fight. If the only way Joshua can win the fight is if he nails Fury with his uppercuts, he’s likely to come up short and lose.
Joshua should be making a mistake in facing Fury twice in 2021 because his career could be in the dumps if he loses both fights against him. Getting beaten once will be bad enough for Joshua, but if he loses both fights, his career will be badly tarnished.
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