Eddie Hearn reacts to Fury vs. Usyk negotiations collapsing 

By Boxing News - 03/24/2023 - Comments

By Sam Voz: Eddie Hearn feels that it was complete nonsense coming from Tyson Fury’s promoter to justify the rematch purse split by suggesting that the average person on the street has never heard of Oleksandr Usyk.

The Fury-Usyk negotiations collapsed this week over the 50-50 rematch split that Fury wanted for the second fight.

Hearn points out that the 70-30 split that IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (20-0,  13 KOs) was being given for the first fight with Fury on April 29th was the same split that a mandatory challenger would be getting.

In this situation, Usyk is a three-belt world champion, not a challenger, so makes sense that he would want the 70-30 split reversed in the rematch if he won the first fight.

Unfortunately, Fury wouldn’t agree, insisting on a 50-50 split for the rematch, which he refused to budge on, according to Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk.

Usyk’s split was unfair

“I think the whole line of, ‘No one knows who Usyk is is quite ridiculous,'”  said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social,  reacting to Tyson Fury’s promoter saying the average person on the street has never heard of Oleksandr Usyk and don’t know who he is.

“Firstly, not only did he beat every champion pretty much in their backyard at cruiserweight to become undisputed. If you want to say that not a lot of people watched that, then he fought Tony Bellew. It was 500,000 pay-per-view buys.

“Then he fought Derek Chisora on Sky, and it was 300 or something like that behind closed doors. Then he boxed Anthony Joshua, who at the time was a bigger draw than Tyson Fury. The pay-per-view numbers will tell you that. It was huge pay-per-view numbers in front of 70,000,” Hearn said about Usyk.

“Then another big pay-per-view night in the rematch. You can’t diminish what he’s [Usyk] done and that he’s a big name. Is he as big a draw as Tyson Fury? No, he’s not. Does he have more belts than Tyson Fury? Yes, he does.

“Frank Warren, a few weeks ago, said, ‘It’s [Fury vs. Usyk] an easy fight to make. It’s 50-50.’ I honestly think that when Frank was going to make this fight, he thought it was going to be 50-50, and I did, but Tyson had other ideas.

“He tried to get 70-30, bearing in mind that’s basically the split Usyk got fighting AJ as a challenger, and he beat him and became unified. He got 50-50 in the rematch and beat him again.

“70-30 is not fair, but Usyk said, ‘I’ll take 70-30,  but when I beat you, I was 70% in the rematch.’ Fury says, ‘No, it’s 50-50 in the rematch,’  which, again, if Oleksandr Usyk was just a mandatory challenger, that’s exactly the deal you’d do.

“70-30 or 75-25, and a rematch clause at 50-50. He’s not. He’s a unified [three-belt] heavyweight world champion and one of the biggest stars in the sport,” said Hearn about IBF, WBA & WBO champion Usyk.

“But he [Usyk] was the mandatory challenger at the time [when he fought Joshua in the first fight]. Then they [Team Fury] keep saying, ‘Let’s do no rematch clause, and Usyk says, ‘I’ll do no rematch clause, but it’s 50-50 [for the April 29th fight].

“I think they should go like this. One fight at 60-40 for Tyson Fury or 70-30, I don’t think it should even be 70-30, but if that’s all Fury will give, 70-30 in fight one, and if Usyk wins, it’s 60-40 for him in the rematch,” said Hearn.

Fury didn’t think Usyk would accept deal

“It sounds pretty simple. I don’t like the narrative of ‘No one knows who Usyk is.’ I don’t think Tyson Fury thought Usyk would accept 70-30. In reality, he kind of has and kind of hasn’t,” said Hearn.

“But Usyk is quite a proud man. If he feels like he’s being abused in the deal and he feels like he’s being taken advantage of, he won’t do it. I feel they’re taking the p*ss.

“I think people forget that I’ve worked with Usyk for his last, Bellew, Witherspoon, Chisora, AJ, and AJ. Five fights. I have to tell you this. Oleksandr Usyk and Alex Krassyuk are up there with the easiest people to deal with.

“We did the AJ deal like that. In the rematch in Saudi, we had no problems at all. We didn’t have one issue with Alex Krassyu or Oleksandr Usyk the whole time over those five fights. Would we work with Oleksandr Usyk? Of course.

“Whether that goes to purse bids and we bid. We’ve got Filip Hrgovic. He’s supposed to fight Oleksandr Usyk as well. So I’m sure we’ll be involved with Oleksandr Usyk at some point.

“I honestly feel that this may be a weakness. Our contract expired on the AJ first fight with Usyk, and obviously, we had the two fights with the rematch. I feel like we’ve done such a great job with Oleksandr Usyk.

“During the tough time with the behind closed doors and stuff like that, and he was great to work with as well, but I think we’ve done a great job with Usyk. He knows how good we are and how straight we are, and so does Alex Krassyuk.

“The weakness is that I probably should have gone to him and extended a promotional deal or tried. I represent AJ. I don’t feel comfortable. I’m all in for AJ in that fight. Not before the AJ fight, because it just stinks.

“Your reputation is everything and ask Usyk and Alex Krassyuk what it was like working with us, and the feeling is mutual, so we’ll see.

“It’s going to be tough for him because he’s going to take a lot of flak,”  said Hearn when told that Fury’s promoter Frank Warren said he could retire. “He [Fury] will be. Everybody is bothered by the flak.

“It don’t matter. People are bothered in deeper and different ways. People say it all the time, you say it, I say it, ‘I don’t  give a f**k. I’ve got skin like a Rhinoceros,’ but, of course.

“In the world that we live in on social media, anyone can say what they want to. You can’t even get them around the neck, so it bothers you. It bothers me. I don’t mind admitting it.

“Every now and again, when the heats on, of course, it’ll get to you, and it’ll get to Tyson Fury because he’ll be criticized heavily. Some people will think it’s his fault. Some people won’t, but he won’t like that criticism,”  said Hearn about Fury.