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Hearn lectures the sanctioning bodies, warns all titles could be vacated for Joshua – Fury

Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury boxing photo

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn was on his soapbox lecturing today in sending a stern warning to the sanctioning bodies not to get in the way of the two Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fights pegged for 2021 or else.

Hearn warns all four titles – IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO – could be vacated if the sanctioning don’t stand clear by letting Joshua do what he wants by bypassing his mandatory commitments.

Hearn has specifically the World Boxing Organization wanting Joshua to defend against his mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk, who has already been TWICE bypassed for a title shot in 2019 and 2020 with AJ facing Andy Ruiz Jr and Kubrat Pulev.

If the WBO lets Hearn have his way, Usyk will need to wait until 2022 for his title shot. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the WBO belt-holder won’t vacate or ask for another exception to continue to avoid fighting him.

Eddie warns all 4 belts could be vacated for Joshua – Fury

“We have a fight on our hands; I’m sorry for the governing bodies, eclipses all belts,” said Hearn in going on a rant at the sanctioning bodies.

Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury boxing photo

“We’ve just got to be a little bit careful because you may be on the verge of; you know what? Let’s just get rid of politics right now.

“Let’s just drop all the belts because if we lose one belt [the WBO], we might as well lose them all. Exactly [it would save money normally paid by fighters for the sanctioning fees], and the step aside [that would need to be paid to Joshua’s WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk],” said Hearn.

Gee, it sounds like anarchy is what Hearn is advocating when it comes to his fighter Joshua being allowed to circumvent his mandatory commitments, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t sit well for Usyk to wait until 2022 to get his mandated title shot for the WBO belt, as he should have gotten the title shot in 2019. Why should Usyk have to wait three years for his mandated title shot? It’s an obvious question.

  • Is Usyk better off waiting until 2022?
  • What happens if Hearn wants Joshua to bypass Usyk in 2022?
  • Does it help Usyk to face Fury for the WBO title?
  • Is there a guarantee the WBO champion won’t vacate without fighting Usyk?

Hearn says the Joshua vs. Fury fight is for the ‘good of boxing,” which is a true statement. Unfortunately, some rules go along with being a world champion.

One of them is they need to defend against their mandatory challengers annually if they want to keep the titles. If Joshua doesn’t want to follow the rules, he needs to vacate his titles to fight whoever he pleases without being committed to making mandatory title defenses.

Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury boxing photo

Like many things, you’ve got to renew things every year, and if you ignore that and make excuses, as Hearn is doing, you lose out.

If you choose not to renew your car registration, you asking for special favoritism from the agency is likely to fall on deaf ears.

Hearn: We won’t be held ransom by sanctioning bodies

“So it gets to the stage where you’ve got the biggest fight [Joshua vs. Fury] in world boxing, you’re paying each governing body hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Hearn.

“Now you’ve got another guy [Usyk], who probably wants seven figures. We’ve just got to be careful because the ultimately aim of this fight has always been to be for the undisputed championship.

“When Anthony Joshua came into my office many years ago, that was always the dream, and we will do whatever we can to make sure that every belt in boxing is on the line for the Tyson Fury fight.

“What we don’t do is we won’t be held for ransom, and we won’t let politics get involved in a fight that boxing needs,” said Hearn.

By Hearn’s thinking, the WBO is holding him and Joshua for ransom by being assertive and letting them know they need to make their long-overdue title defense against mandatory Usyk.

Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury boxing photo

You have to wonder how Hearn would feel if the shoe was on the other foot and it was Joshua waiting for his overdue title shot against Usyk. Would Hearn be OK with the idea of Joshua waiting until 2022 for his title shot after he’d already been bypassed twice?

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