Eddie Hearn says Joshua insisting on Usyk rematch, won’t step aside
By Jeff Aronow: Eddie Hearn confirms that Anthony Joshua has refused promoter Bob Arum’s offer for him to step aside to let WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury battle IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed championship next. Hearn says Joshua will not step aside, and he’s adamant about that.
Hearn says Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) told him “absolutely no way” when told about Arum’s generous offer of a step aside deal. Arum wants to keep Joshua from getting beaten against by Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), but AJ isn’t willing to accept the offer.
Arum might continue to hammer away at Hearn and Joshua to get them to listen to him because they can make a lot of money if they follow his idea.
Bob wants to keep Joshua from losing again
Fury stands a better chance of beating Usyk than Joshua. If Joshua loses to Usyk again, the big massive fight between AJ and Fury won’t be worth as much.
The fans would still be interested in it now because Joshua was beaten once by Usyk, but if he loses again, it will tarnish a future fight between AJ and Fury.
Fury still needs to defend against Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) this Saturday night in their trilogy match at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Before Arum can start putting real pressure on Joshua to step aside, Fury must beat Wilder.
Hearn is insisting Fury defend against his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte because the World Boxing Council has stated the winner of the Fury vs. Wilder III fight this weekend must face Dillian. Hearn promotes Whyte, so it’s not a shock that he would be eager to see Fury face him.
Dillian (28-2, 19 KOs) is fighting Otto Wallin (22-1, 14 KOs) on October 30th at the Wembley Arena in London, England. That fight is going to be a tough one for Whyte, and he might lose.
Indeed, Arum predicts Wallin will beat Whyte, who he doesn’t feel is a good fighter.
Hearn: “Joshua doesn’t step aside!”
“Ultimately, Dillian will be mandatory for the winner of Deontay vs. Fury,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV. “That’s what he [Whyte] deserves.
“I think Dillian’s team will need to push on that to make sure the wording is correct. He’s not going to roll over and accept something that’s not fair.
“But if he gets a shot against the winner of Fury – Wilder, fantastic news. We know AJ has a rematch clause [with Usyk]. We expect that fight to take place in March.
“I don’t see any scenario with AJ being fit to fight that he doesn’t fight Oleksandr Usyk.
“I spoke to Bob [Arum] last night, he called me, and he talked about the possibility of maybe stepping aside. Joshua doesn’t step aside!
“While he’s fit to fight and he is, that’s the fight he’s taking. All he’s thinking about is evening Oleksandr Usyk,” said Hearn.
If Joshua loses again to Usyk, this will be a good lesson for AJ to listen to what Arum tells him when giving him offers that could help save his sinking career.
Right now, Joshua is stuck in quicksand, and he’s not doing an excellent job of pulling himself out of it. Andy Ruiz Jr. beat him in June 2019, and now he’s lost to Uysk on September 25th.
Getting beaten again by Usyk would be catastrophic for Joshua, as that would be too many defeats in a short period.
If those three losses were spaced out over 10 to 12 years, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
But these defeats have come in three years, which tells you there’s a big problem with Joshua that isn’t getting better.
Joshua insisting on fighting Usyk again
“Firstly, all we have at the moment is words. Secondly, I mentioned Arum’s comments to Anthony Joshua, and before I even ended the sentence, I got, ‘Absolutely, no way.’ He [Joshua] wants to be undisputed, but he wants to put the wrong right,” said Hearn.
“He wants to fight Oleksandr Usyk and beat him. That’s the only thing in his mind.
“I just said to Bob, ‘Have your fight [Fury vs. Wilder III], but I’m just telling you at the moment. Absolutely, no way.
“Joshua wants to fight Usyk, and Joshua wants to beat Usyk, and then he’ll fight for the undisputed. In his head, he needs to put that right.’
“Anything can happen; let’s get these fights out of the way: a big fight, Tyson against Wilder.
“A big fight, Whyte against Wallin. Let’s make sure they go our way on both accounts and see where we land,” said Hearn.
It would be a good move for Hearn to convince Joshua to delay his rematch with Usyk until after he’s taken a tune-up fight.
In the meantime, Fury could face Usyk for the undisputed championship to gather up all the titles to the winner. After Joshua’s tune, he could face the Fury vs. Usyk winner with all four belts on the line.
Hearn wants Whyte to face Fury
“We’ll see what happens,” said Hearn. “I told Bob last night, ‘Get Saturday out of the way [between Fury and Wilder].
“We’ve seen a couple of Saturdays before [Usyk beating Joshua]. Anything can happen, and anything can happen in that fight.
“But certainly, lights are at the end of the rainbow for Dillian Whyte. We don’t take anything for granted until we see it in black and white, but obviously, big moments ahead for Dillian Whyte.
“Certainly, he [Whyte] has been putting pressure on them [WBC], and rightly so. Enough is enough.
“We have to make sure justice is served, and justice is Dillian Whyte fighting the winner of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
“Let’s get that fight made, and it’s not like it ain’t a great fight. It’s not like it won’t sell out any arena around the world.
“And it’s not like it won’t do a million pay-per-view buys. It’s a massive fight.
“Yes, we know Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury; you’re going to have your hands full with Dillian Whyte, but that’s alright.
“Hopefully, Tyson Fury wins on Saturday, and then finally Dillian Whyte gets a shot,” said Hearn.
It’s a challenging position Hearn is in, with him being the promoter for Whyte. He can’t just let Fury walk away after he faces Wilder on Saturday without pushing to have Whyte fight him.
But at the same time, it would be better if Whyte didn’t fight Fury. If Fury loses to Whyte, which is possible, all the money Joshua would have made fighting ‘The Gypsy King’ will go down the drain.
The way Hearn is doing it, he could completely wreck the Joshua vs. Fury fight and lose all that money.
That’s why Arum is trying so hard to get Joshua to step aside to let Fury fight Usyk rather than AJ.
In a worst-case scenario, Fury will lose to Whyte, and Joshua will get beaten by Usyk in the rematch. So instead of the massive Joshua vs. Fury fight, fans will be stuck watching Whyte vs. Usyk.
- Anthony Joshua will be “ruthless” against Usyk – says Hearn
- Eddie Hearn expects Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte to be ordered at WBC’s next convention in November
- Joshua angry, ready to thow Usyk on the floor, wants “war” in rematch
- Anthony Joshua Suggests He Is Going To Let His Hands Go In Oleksandr Usyk Rematch