By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn wants to capitalize on the negotiations between unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk and WBC champ Tyson Fury fizzling out by resisting talks between ‘The Gyspy King’ and Anthony Joshua for a mega-fight in the summer.
The Matchroom Boxing grand poobah Hearn rightly points out that there’s more dough to be made in a Joshua vs. Fury fight than in a Fury-Usyk match.
As long as Fury doesn’t price himself out with the Saudis by asking for an insane amount of loot, the Joshua-Fury clash is doable for the summer. With Fury, though, you just never know. He could be a huge problem in trying to make that fight with AJ in the summer in Saudi Arabia.
Hearn would like the fans to help to make the Joshua-Fury fight a reality by demanding it takes place next, provided Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) gets past his risky match against American Jermaine Franklin on April 1st.
“If this fight doesn’t get made, I want to sit down with George Warren, and if AJ comes through Jermaine Franklin on April 1st, I want to go straight into that fight. AJ against Tyson Fury. Why not?” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show.
“It’s [Joshua-Franklin] financially a much bigger fight for Tyson Fury than Oleksandr Usyk. It’s the biggest fight in world boxing by a mile. But first, AJ’s got to go and do a job on April 1st [against Jermaine Franklin at the O2 Arena in London].
Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) has run out of options now that he messed up his negotiations with Usyk and whiffed on the Joshua clash last December. At this late stage of Fury’s career, he’s utterly intractable in negotiations.
If Fury doesn’t fight Joshua in the summer, he might have to go the WWE or Francis Ngannou route if he wants to make some easy coin, and sadly, he’ll likely choose one of those two options rather than defend his WBC belt against a top contender like Joe Joyce, Andy Ruiz Jr or Deontay Wilder.
“If he does, and this Usyk fight doesn’t get made, I think we should be kicking and screaming for that fight.
“Sometimes, things happen that enable fights that you never thought could happen to happen, and maybe this is one of those moments,” said Hearn.
That fight is not a sure-thing victory for Joshua like many of AJ’s British fans seem to think it is.
If you look at the replay of Franklin’s last fight against Dillian Whyte, it’s evident that he beat him 9-3 but was given a raw deal in London in their fight at the Wembley Arena.
To be sure, the way Franklin dominated the faded 34-year-old veteran Whyte, making him look like the journeyman he is, it’s reasonable to assume that he’ll defeat Joshua on April 1st and potentially end his career on the night.
If Joshua loses the fight to Franklin, Hearn’s plans for the Fury-Joshua fight will be up in smoke, obviously, but, of course, it could still happen, but it wouldn’t make the same kind of money.
The Saudis might still be interested in staging the Joshua vs. Fury fight, as it would still be a compelling fight regardless, but a lot would depend on how badly AJ is beaten by Franklin.
If Joshua is knocked out by Franklin on April 1st, it would be pointless to make the Fury fight afterward, and it’s doubtful AJ would even try. He’ll either retire or insist on a rematch with Franklin.
In other words, Joshua will not want to walk away from a loss to Franklin because that’s not his style.