December 8, 2021

Fury-Joshua: Hearn, Arum Have Positive Talk, Negotiations Begin

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Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, has already begun discussions for 2021 unification clash with WBC world champion Tyson Fury.


On Saturday at SSE Arena in Wembley, Joshua dropped mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev four times to secure the knockout in the ninth round.

The next day, Hearn began working on the fight.

Hearn spoke to Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum, works with Fury, on Sunday night.

“I had a good chat with [Bob Arum] him last night. It’s positive,” Hearn told Sky Sports News. “I think we’re all in the same position. We want to move forward with the fight, quickly as well, which is good news for fans.

“Just trying to solve any remaining issues of the fight, of which there aren’t many, to be honest with you, and try and move forward collectively to let the governing bodies know that we plan to stage this fight probably in May, and we would like this to be for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.

“A few small issues to iron out, but I think we can start look at drawing up contracts and try to get this moving. Here on both sides, every member of each team wants to do this fight. We all acknowledge this is the biggest fight in boxing, this is the best fight for both guys. This is for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. Why are you in the sport, if you don’t want this fight?”

There are two hurdles in the way of finalizing the deal.

Deontay Wilder has filed a legal action to enforce a rematch clause with Fury, who believes the contractual clause has expired. The two sides are in mediation.

“If you listen to Bob, that’s not a problem,” said Hearn. “He is a lawyer and he knows his contracts and he tells us that Tyson Fury is contractually free to take any fight he wants. I do believe Deontay Wilder is appealing that, in the US courts, but we don’t expect that to be a problem.”

And then there is Oleksandr Usyk, who holds the mandatory position under the WBO. Usyk is not willing to step aside and wants to fight Joshua in the first quarter of 2021. 

“Ultimately the big issue for Anthony Joshua is he has a WBO mandatory now. We will be writing to the WBO to say you have an opportunity to be part of the biggest fight in boxing. One of the biggest fights in boxing history. Oleksandr Usyk is the WBO mandatory, we have to respect that, and the rules as well. We’ll be speaking to him to make sure he’s happy with a potential resolution,” Hearn said.

“But for any reason Tyson Fury can’t contractually fight Anthony Joshua, AJ will fight Oleksandr Usyk next. For us, Usyk is a great fighter, it’s a great fight, there is only one name that we’re focusing on and that is Tyson Fury.”