Eddie Hearn has said he “can’t see any obstacles” which could block a world heavyweight unification title fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury next year. “Everyone is saying we need to get this done,” Joshua’s promoter said, while adding he expects the details to be resolved in a “couple of days”.
Soon after Joshua knocked out Kubrat Pulev on Saturday night, Fury went on Instagram to claim he would dispatch his fellow world champion in three rounds. Joshua, in contrast, chose not to call out Fury during an interview he did with some reluctance on Sky Sports after his most impressive performance in years.
“He [Joshua] learnt his lesson and just got sick and tired of people talking shit,” Hearn said . “It’s not about Tyson Fury. We talked for ages about [Deontay] Wilder, and Wilder tried to make AJ look like he didn’t want to fight. AJ is saying he will fight whoever you put in front of him.”
Even when reminded that nothing is certain in boxing’s chaotic business, Hearn said: “The only hitch I can think of is Wilder. If the court orders a rematch [after Fury knocked out Wilder last February], and it doesn’t sound as though they will, then it’s out of our hands. That’s the only way it falls through – if something stops Fury’s side.
“That isn’t me saying they don’t want it. They do. But Bob Arum [Fury’s American promoter] seems very confident Wilder-Fury is not on. Unless he has made a complete balls-up, it sounds like that fight is dead.”
“I know what my job is, I am under instructions to make that fight. AJ will not shout: ‘You big dosser’ and do Instagram posts because it is not his style.”
Hearn was equally optimistic there would be no problems with television rights for a fight that should generate more than £200m. “It’s quite easy because the worst-case scenario is everyone shares it. Everyone will do that anyway as we need to maximise the revenue for the fighters,” he said.
“In the UK, AJ has an exclusive deal with Sky, Fury a matching deal with BT. In America, Fury has an exclusive deal with ESPN and AJ a matching deal with DAZN. I can’t talk on behalf of Sky but they probably feel comfortable they will get the majority of buys.”
Asked how long it may take to confirm the fight, Hearn said: “Couple of days. There’s no reason we cannot complete the deal. We’re all in and what we should be doing is finalising it. The only thing that needs to be resolved is where it is going to be and a couple of TV issues. That is it.
“Everyone is completely in on the finances. We need to write to the governing bodies and say we have a deal and we will now talk to the various sites and confirm the dates shortly for what I suppose will be the end of May.”