Hearn worried Wilder-Fury problems could disrupt Joshua vs. Fury in 2021

Eddie Hearn is concerned that Deontay Wilder’s mediation process with Tyson Fury could potentially disrupt the two-fight deal between Anthony Joshua and Fury in 2021 if the problems linger on.

Former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) is trying to enforce his contractually bound trilogy fight with Fury, who recently decided that he didn’t want to wait around to face him. Fury and his team decided to fight on December 5th against little known fringe contender Agit Kabayel, and then face Anthony Joshua twice next year.

Rightly or wrongly, Fury decided he no longer wanted to fight the dangerous puncher Wilder. But unfortunately for Fury, Wilder’s management now has initiated an arbitration dispute resolution process with a mediator, a retired judge, who will be looking over the contracts and will make a judgment.

If it doesn’t go Fury’s way, he’ll need to face Wilder a third time. The third fight would obviously be taking place in early 2021, and that might throw off Fury’s first match against Joshua. Of course, if Wilder beats Fury, that could really mess things up for his two-fight deal with Joshua.

Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Eddie Hearn, Tyson Fury - Boxing News

You can argue Fury’s decision not to fight Wilder a third time has a lot to do with him wanting to minimize the risk of his two lucrative contests against Joshua being blown out of the water. If you remember what happened to Fury in the first fight with Wilder when he was knocked cold by him in the 12th round, you’ll know that he could lose to him in a third fight. Wilder will be angry and head-hunting from the opening bell.

“That’s their [Fury and Wilder’s] business, it’s a right mess either way, and it’s not going to resolve itself any time soon,” said Hearn to Sky Sports.

“Hopefully we can just make sure that if Anthony Joshua can beat Kubrat Pulev on December 12, then the path is clear for AJ against Fury in 2021.”

“If the legal action rumbles on, because ultimately after that fight with Pulev, we want to be in a position to say ‘This is the fight for the undisputed’.

If Fury, 32, is as good as he and his boxing fans think he is, he should have no problems beating Wilder in a third fight. But the fact that Fury is now dragging his feet abut wanting to fight Wilder again suggests strongly that there’s some worry there.

Fury might be having flashbacks to his 12th round knockout in his first fight with Wilder in 2018. That was the fight in which the referee Jack Reiss inexplicably gave Fury a count while lying there unconscious on the canvas. A lot of boxing fans saw that as an unusual circumstance.

If you compare that Dillian Whyte’s fifth-round knockout loss to Alexander Povetkin last August, you can see that the referee for the Fury-Wider fight played it completely differently in giving Fury a count after he was knocked down in the 12th round.

If Wilder could hurt Fury once, he could do it again, and there might not be a referee that chooses to give a count to him if he’s fast asleep on the canvas. Given the huge risk involved with Fury being potentially forced to fight Wilder a third time at the end of the arbitration process, you can understand why ‘The Gypsy King’ is resisting the idea of facing ‘The Bronze Bomber’ again.

There’s too much green on the line with the Joshua fight. For a sports fan, you’d rather Fury face Wilder again rather than circumvent the process and take a soft fight against the obscure fighter Kabayel.

It would be like an NFL team skipping the playoffs and Championship game for the U.S fans and going straight into the Super Bowl without earning that position by beating the top teams. Interestingly, Fury would want to go that route, but you can’t blame him. He’ll make a lot of money fighting Joshua, and he obviously doesn’t want to risk getting planted on the canvas again by Wilder as we saw in the first fight.

“Get the sanctioning in place and obviously you’ve got [Oleksandr] Usyk now standing in the wings, saying ‘Once that Pulev fight is over, I want to be called as mandatory,” said Hearn.

“That’s just going to be another issue that we’re going to have to deal with. Hopefully, they can resolve whatever problem – who is right, who is wrong. That’s the job of the arbitrators and the mediators, and good luck to them.”