Hearn angry at Fury fight disappearing, says Joshua could fight Usyk in summer
By Jim Maltzman: Eddie Hearn was flabbergasted by the news of Deontay Wilder winning his arbitration case against Tyson Fury on Monday, which has now seemingly wiped out his August 14th fight with Anthony Joshua.
Hearn says he’ll give Fury’s promoters up to two weeks to get this mess sorted with Wilder. Otherwise, he’ll take Joshua in another direction towards his potential Plan-B opponent Alexander Usyk for the summer.
Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) is IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua’s WBO mandatory, and British boxing fans will respect him.
Setting up a fight between AJ and Usyk will quite easy in comparison to the headaches Hearn endured recently with his labor-intensive negotiations for the Fury fight on August 14th.
The only question about the Joshua-Usyk fight is whether a foreign country like Saudi Arabia would be interested in staging the clash because it’s one that he won’t be able to place in front of fans in the UK.
Joshua vs. Usyk is still too big of a fight for Hearn to stick it behind closed doors in the Wembley Arena, but it’s impossible to take it to Wembley Stadium due to the UK government now allowing crowds at venues yet because of the ongoing pandemic.
“The only fight we had our minds on was Tyson Fury, and we hope that fight can still take place on August 14th,” Matchroom bossman Eddie Hearn said.
“The game changed last night where we have to have a Plan B in place, and probably a Plan C, and we have a couple of different options.
“The one that springs to mind immediately is the WBO mandatory, Oleksandr Usyk. I think we’re in a situation now where if Team Fury don’t get their act together by the end of this week, we will have no option but to look for an alternative fight,” said Hearn
It’s not looking promising that Fury’s promoter Bob Arum will be able to quickly take care of the Wilder situation by talking him into waiting until November or December to fight the winner.
Arum has already drawn a line in the sand by definitely refusing to pay Wilder a step aside fee so that the Joshua vs. Fury fight can take place on August 14th.
This hardline stance by Arum will surely work against him and Fury, given that Wilder has already been burned once by the Gypsy King choosing not to honor his rematch contract with him from their clash in February 2020.
Unless Arum changes his mind about not offering Wilder a step aside fee, Fury will be stuck fighting him. That’s a bad deal on two fronts.
Not only will the Joshua-Fury fight on August 14th be the immediate casualty of Arum’s decision, but also it could result in Fury getting knocked out, which would end any dreams of a fight between him and Joshua.
In essence, Arum will be gambling with Fury’s future by letting him take the third fight with Wilder rather than choosing the sure-thing money match against Joshua on August 14th.
“AJ wants to fight this summer. Oleksandr Usyk is the mandatory. We have two or three other options as well.”
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