Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is ready to start negotiating a fight between Tyson Fury and AJ in advance for a unification fight in December, assuming that they win their upcoming title defenses. The main issue, according to Hearn, is trying to find a solution to the TV stumbling blocks.
It’s a tricky situation for Hearn to be attempting to put a deal together before Joshua and Fury’s next fights because it’s not a certainty that either of them will win. Fury (30-0-1 21 KOs) has a trilogy fight against former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder he needs to win on July 18, and that’s a risky fight. In contrast, Joshua has a much easier title defense against his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev on June 20, but we’ve already seen with AJ that his chin is fragile and he can lose against B-level opposition.
“We’re ready to make a deal with Tyson Fury now,” said Hearn to Boxing Social on a fight between Joshua and Fury for December. “There’s a deal that can be done very quickly. The only thing that needs to be sorted out is the structure of the TV rights, which we believe we’ve found a solution for, and where it’s going to be,” said Hearn.
It’s probably better for Fury to wait until AFTER his rematch with Wilder before he negotiates a deal for a unification fight against Joshua because his stardom will likely go way up with a second knockout win over ‘The Bronze Bomber’ Wilder. Fury might be able to get a better than 50-50 split with Joshua if he blasts Wilder out again. Why would Fury agree to 50% of the loot for a Joshua fight with him doing all the hard work in going through three grueling fights against Deontay? Joshua’s opponent 38-year-old Pulev is slow, he can’t punch, and he’s easy to hit. There’s no comparison to what Fury has in front of him in facing Deontay again compared to Joshua defending against an old 40-ish guy in Pulev.
Some boxing fans believe that Hearn wanted Joshua to take the Pulev fight instead of defending against his WBO mandatory Oleksandr Usyk because the risk is much lower. Joshua is expected to vacate his WBO title soon, and then he won’t have to worry about fighting Usyk. It’s predictable, isn’t it?
“I’m happy for AJ to sign that deal for the winner of Wilder vs. Fury, and then to fight the winner of Joshua against Pulev,” said Hearn. “I’m even happy to sign with Deontay Wilder because we just want the winner of that fight. I really feel a deal will be in place certainly from the Tyson Fury side prior to their next fights,” said Hearn.
Why would Wilder make a deal now with Hearn? If Wilder destroys Fury in their trilogy fight in July, there’s a good chance that the two of them could face each other in a fourth match. In that case, Wilder would vacate the WBC title, which would be meaningless compared to what’s at stake.