Eddie Hearn is hoping former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will change his mind about wanting to face Tyson Fury in a trilogy match in 2020 because he’s hoping to match Anthony Joshua against ‘The Gypsy King’ in December.
Hearn says Joshua has accepted the challenge from Team Fury to face him in December, but he’ll need to get out of his contract with Wilder for that fight to happen.
Contrary to popular belief, Hearn says he wants IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua to face Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) this year. Hearn says he’s not trying to have AJ duck the unification match with Fury.
Hearn wants Joshua to face Fury
That’s a match that he wants, and he would like to see Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) back out of the Fury trilogy match. But here’s the thing. If Wilder does decide against taking the match against Fury this year, Hearn thinks he should retire from boxing.
It’ll send a wrong message to fans if Wilder isn’t willing to try and avenge his loss. Hearn says Wilder will never be given a voluntary title shot by any of the world champions.
In other words, Wilder would need to become mandatory for one of the world champions before he would be given a title shot.
“I am the only one that has put this in writing that the deal is agreed,” said Hearn to IFL TV on the Joshua vs. Fury deal for 2021. “So I have already written to their team saying, ‘Just to let you know, ‘we have agreed to the following deal,’ which is agreed.
“I didn’t actually get a reply, but I believe because they do want the fight. So we’re ready for the fight. I saw the comments about December. It’s all very well saying, ‘Well, if that doesn’t happen in December, I’ll fight you now.’
“We will fight you in December. If the world is ready for that fight, and these offers that are coming in are legit for that period in December, then we don’t have a problem going into that fight.
“But he’s [Fury] under contract for another fight. No, we’re not under contract yet, but we have to agree to terms with Pulev now. We probably will,” said Hearn.
Fury doesn’t want to get out of his contract for the trilogy match with Wilder. Why would he? Next to a fight with Joshua, it’s the best money Fury can make, and its a match that will help increase his popularity in the U.S.
Joshua doesn’t have to fight Pulev
“We’re [Joshua] probably a lot freer to take the fight in December than he [Fury] is,” said Hearn. “Whether that is to goad us or to challenge us, we accept that challenge to fight in December if you don’t have to fight Deontay Wilder. But you do have to fight Deontay Wilder.
“If Deontay Wilder doesn’t take that rematch, he should retire from boxing. What’s the point? You’ve been a world heavyweight champion, and now you’ve lost and your bums gone.
“You’ve bottled the rematch, and he won’t. He’s got more about him than that. But he’s worryingly quiet, isn’t he? But we don’t have a problem going into the fight now [with Fury],” said Hearn.
“I just don’t believe one, that the world is geared up for that fight, and two, that he [Fury] can get out of the contract [with Wilder] that he’s in. In terms of AJ wanting the Fury fight.”
Wilder hasn’t said anything about wanting to get out of his contract for his trilogy match with Fury. Deontay isn’t talking about the fight with Fury, but he doesn’t have to. There’s still no working date or venue for the third match with Fury, so it’s a waste to talk about the match.
Hearn denies milking AJ
“On one hand, I’m a money-grabbing mother-f****. And on the other hand, I don’t want the fight that’s going to make me more money than any other fight in the world. So get it right. It isn’t about milking AJ, the cash cow,” said Hearn.
“We have two fights that we’ve already written to him [Fury] and agreed. But also, I’m a bit confused because I’m being told that the only person I should negotiate the fight with is Bob Arum.
“But on the other hand, they’re saying, ‘Yeah, come sit down us.’ I spoke to Bob Arum on Friday, and I have another conversation with Bob Arum today. I’m going to say to him, ‘If you want to do the fight in December and we can talk to the relevant parties in terms of where this fight can be staged, we don’t have a problem with that.
“But we’ll sign for it in December if you want. We’ll sign for it in April or May, but we’ll sign for that fight now if you don’t believe us. Yes,” said Hearn when asked if he believes that the fight between Joshua and Fury would be taking place in December if not for Wilder.
The reason why perception is there among fans for why they believe Hearn is milking Joshua is due to his assistance that guys like Fury and Wilder face Dillian Whyte FIRST before he lets them face AJ. If Hearn believed in Joshua, he would let him fight those guys instead of Whyte.
AJ would vacate the IBF title to face Fury
“We would have to drop the IBF belt. We don’t really want to do that, but I promise you when I say if AJ feels he’s f**** around by governing bodies or fighters themselves holding him for ransom, that belt will go,” said Hearn.
But we don’t really want to do that. We want to have an undisputed fight. So by doing that, we fight Pulev, he fights Wilder, and then we have to deal with the Usyk situation.
“If we have to drop the WBO belt, then we worry about that then. But AJ doesn’t have a problem with going into that fight [Fury] next. But he understands that his obligation is to fight Pulev.
“If he doesn’t want to do it, then he loses his belt. Fury’s obligation contractually is to fight Deontay Wilder, and I don’t believe Deontay Wilder is going to let that fight go. If he lets that fight go, he’ll never get another shot at a world title until he’s mandatory.”
Joshua might also need to vacate his WBO title if he elects to fight Fury because Oleksandr Usyk’s co-promoter Alexander Krassyuk said on Tuesday that they’re not going to step aside. If Joshua isn’t going to face Usyk, then he’ll need to give that belt up too, along with the IBF strap.
Joshua to face Pulev on December 12th
“December 12th is the working date for that fight at the O2 Arena,” said Hearn about the Joshua vs. Pulev fight. “So all being well, If Team Pulevis reasonable and Bob [Arum] is reasonable, and we can work it out, then that’ll be AJ’s next fight.
“Some of the conversations that I’ve had in the last couple of days are, ‘if you can get out of this Deontay Wilder contract and do this fight in December, then you need to let us know soon because we’re ready to plan our next fight.’
At the moment in an ideal world is December 12th with Kubrat Pulev,” said Hearn.
It’s good to know when Hearn plans on having Joshua vs. Pulev fight take place. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of interest in this match-up. Pulev, 39, is an old-timer, and he didn’t need to beat talented heavyweight to become the IBF mandatory. To become the IBF mandatory, Pulev beat Hughie Fury.