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Fury vs. Whyte in April, Joshua vs. Usyk 2 in May says Hearn

Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte, Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury boxing photo

By Jack Tiernan: Tyson Fury will be defending his WBC heavyweight title against mandatory Dillian Whyte in April, and Anthony Joshua will be meeting IBF/WBA/WBO champion Oleksandr Usyk in May in their rematch, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

The schedule that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn laid out on Friday is based on him winning the purse bid today for the Fury vs. Whyte fight.

These excellent fights will lead to the winners facing each other later this year for the undisputed heavyweight championship.

This week, there were efforts to put together a step aside deal for Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) and Whyte (28-2, 19 KOs)  to step aside so that Fury and Usyk could meet for the undisputed championship in March or April.

Joshua-Usyk 2 & Fury-Whyte schedule

“I think April 29th is the date where if we win the purse bid [for Tyson Fury vs. Dillian Whyte] that we have to do the fight by. So, we have to do the fight by then,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV.

“That’s Fury against Whyte. AJ, I think that can be a little bit later. That’ll be in May,” Hearn said for when Joshua will be fighting Usyk in their rematch.

Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte, Oleksandr Usyk, Tyson Fury boxing photo

According to Hearn, those plans went up in smoke when Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) threw a monkey wrench into the works by coming up with the quirky idea of taking a tune-up fight in March before fighting Usyk.

It was a request that came totally out of the blue, as Fury fought only three months ago against Deontay Wilder in a Fight of the Year type of match. The last thing Fury needs at this point is a tune-up.

If anything, Fury needs a long rest because he was severely hurt multiple times by Wilder and had to get off the deck twice to come back to win.

Fury shooting himself in the foot

According to Hearn, Fury’s strange request for a tune-up in March wrecked the step aside deal. Now, Fury is taking an arguably riskier fight against Whyte, and he’s likely to take a lot more punishment against him than he would have had he agreed to the plan for him to face Usyk.

You hate to see fighters shoot themselves in the foot with their self-defeating decision-making.

Fury’s decision to ask for a tune-up rather than going straight into the Usyk fight is a classic example of a fighter wrecking their opportunities and potentially wrecking his career.

It’s hard to imagine Fury’s promoters wanting him to take a tune-up fight in March before facing Usyk. The request for a tune-up sounds like something initiated by Fury, and wow, there are just no words to describe what a blunder that is.

Why would Fury need a tune-up? It’s baffling but predictable at the same time.


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