Tyson Fury: I won’t be attending Joshua vs. Pulev on Saturday

By Boxing News - 12/09/2020 - Comments

By Scott Gilfoid: Tyson Fury announced on social media on Wednesday that he won’t be attending Anthony Joshua’s title defense against Kubrat Pulev this Saturday night at the SSE Arena in Wembley. Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) says he wants to focus on his training instead of being in the audience.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had hoped that WBC heavyweight champion Fury would be there live on Saturday so that he would climb into the ring moments after the fight ended so the two giant heavyweights could begin marketing their mega-fight.

Hearn won’t be happy

Fury’s decision not to attend IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua’s fight against Pulev must be a major disappointment for Hearn because he’s not going to be able to use Fury as a human prop to start selling the Joshua contest.

It’ll be interesting to see what inventive way Hearn can start hyping the Joshua-Fury fight without Fury being present. Does Hearn bring in a family member or someone associated with Fury’s team to begin building up the Joshua-Fury fight?

When you look at the situation logically, there’s no reason for Fury to attend the Joshua fight on Saturday because there’s a good chance the Gypsy King will be facing Deontay Wilder next.

Image: Tyson Fury: I won't be attending Joshua vs. Pulev on Saturday

Fury is in mediation with Wilder right now over their contract for a third match, and it doesn’t look good for him.

Fury WON’T attend Joshua-Pulev

“This is Tyson Fury, the Gypsy King. I will not be attending any boxing this weekend. So for all the rumors going around that I’ll be attending boxing, I will not be.

“Don’t expect fireworks, and don’t expect any action from the Gypsy King because I’ll be grafting, I’ll be working as usual always staying fit and ready,” said Fury.

So there it is. Fury isn’t going along with Hearn’s vision thing to be at ringside for Joshua vs. Pulev, and that’s got to hurt.

You can imagine how many times the cameramen from Sky Sports and DAZN would have panned their cameras, Fury, in the crowd if he were attending, and the interview requests. All that is gone now.

If Hearn wanted Fury to attend so badly, he should have had Joshua keep quiet because he’s been pushing his buttons in the last week.

First, it was the comment by AJ about wanting to manage Fury’s career, which didn’t go over well. Then recently, Joshua took a shot at Fury by saying that he’ll finally get a chance to fight in front of a crowd of 90,000 fans, thanks to him.

Image: Tyson Fury: I won't be attending Joshua vs. Pulev on Saturday

Joshua was talking about Fury as if he’s coming down from up high talking to him like he was in a subordinate position, like a vassal. With Joshua acting like a King, of course, Fury was going to resist and not play the part of a jester on Saturday to help AJ.

Hearn assumed Fury would want to attend

“I think he wants to see it,” said Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing about his previous thoughts that Fury would want to attend the Joshua vs. Pulev fight. “If I’m a fighter and I’m fighting someone, you want to see them up close.

“Don’t forget that Anthony Joshua came to watch Oleksandr Usyk, didn’t he? Not just because he’s friends with Chisora, but also because he might be fighting Usyk at some stage.

“So I think Fury wants to see it in the flesh,” said Hearn. “He’s more than willing to attend. He’ll probably have his fingers crossed like we all will.

“And if he [Joshua] can get the business done, maybe those two can get in the ring after and have a little chat and confirm that we’re all good to go,” Hearn said.

Well, there’s always next time for Hearn, right? Maybe the next go-round, Fury might attend one of Joshua’s fights if he placates his ego and treats him like an equal.

I hate to say it, but Hearn went about getting Fury to attend the fight all wrong. He should have been pouring compliments over his head by the bucketful and slathering him with praise.

If Hearn built Fury up to be the equal of Joshua instead of one of the peasants, he probably would have gotten him to come to perform a skit with AJ inside the ring afterward.

Image: Tyson Fury: I won't be attending Joshua vs. Pulev on Saturday

Hearn gloats about Fury not fighting in 2020

“I don’t think you can win in that argument,” Hearn said in addressing Joshua’s comments about Fury needing him to bring in a huge crowd of 90,000.

“Globally, AJ is on another planet than [Fury] commercially. Fury is a big star here as well, and he’s a star in America.

“But the fact remains that they [Team Fury] couldn’t get the money to fight this year. So that kind of tells you all you need to know, but you do have to give him the respect not just because of his popularity but because of his performances.

“Many times in the past, we offered Wilder and Fury 60/40 [split], and I felt that’s all they deserve.

“Now Tyson gets his 50/50, and he’s earned that. He got a great win over Deontay Wilder. I think ultimately Fury needs AJ to make that kind of money, but AJ needs Fury for that final piece of the jigsaw,” said Hearn.

See what I mean about Hearn blowing it big time. Instead of Hearn blabbering about how Joshua is on another level commercially than Fury, he should have been focusing on him positively.

Even if Hearn had to bend the truth, he still should have praised Fury. Unfortunately, he didn’t do that, and look what happened.

Image: Tyson Fury: I won't be attending Joshua vs. Pulev on Saturday

Joshua vs. Fury needs to be made straightaway

“All in all, it’s a match made in heaven,” Hearn said of the Joshua vs. Fury fight. “I think Wilder already said that he’s going to box at the end of January, early February, and he’s looking at opponents already.

“So for me, let’s make it [Joshua vs. Fury] straightaway. There are no excuses for why that fight can’t be made.

“Everybody wants it, and I don’t see any way it doesn’t get made. All AJ has got to do is do the business against Kubrat Pulev. I do [think the Joshua-Fury fight is close].

“You just know that when people want to make a fight, it gets done. There is no one on their [Fury] side that doesn’t want that fight, and there is no one on our side that doesn’t want that fight.

“So let’s get it signed, let’s find a venue, and let’s make it happen,” said an impatient Hearn. “He’s always welcome. He’s a character, I love Tyson Fury. I think what he’s done is incredible.

“I just always believed that Anthony Joshua will knock him out. He’s always welcome at Wembley around my gaffe for a bit of Sunday lunch if he fancies it as well.

“He’s a great heavyweight, a great champion. Two great champions, and one amazing fight,” Hearn said of the Joshua vs. Fury fight.

Joshua vs. Fury isn’t going to be made straight away, and I’d be willing to bet we’re not going to see this fight in 2021. There are too many obstacles that stand in the way of the fight.

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This is what Joshua-Fury is up against:

  • Large crowds unlikely until mid to late 2021
  • Joshua needing to defend against Oleksandr Usyk
  • Fury facing Wilder in a trilogy
  • AJ or Fury losing
  • Injuries
  • Fury deciding he wants to wait until 2022
  • The fight needing more time to marinate