Anthony Joshua is still willing to fight Tyson Fury twice next year even if the WBC makes him Franchise Champion, says Matchroom promoter, Eddie Hearn. Ideally, Joshua wants to fight for with his WBC title still in his possession, but if he’s made Franchise champion, the fight will even go ahead.
Hearn and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) wants the Fury fight to be for the undisputed heavyweight championship with all four belts on the line. They feel that the match will have more meaning against Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) if his WBC belt is also on the line.
The ONLY reason there’s the possibility of Fury being made the Franchise champion is on Hearn’s assistance that he defends against his WBC mandatory Dillian Whyte before he faces Joshua in the summer of 2021. So, Fury would need to battle Whyte no later than February 2021, and then fight Joshua afterward in one of the following months: June, July, August, or September.
It’s doable for Fury if he fights Whyte in February and then Joshua in September. That makes sense. Fury still doesn’t like the idea of being told by a sanctioning body that he must fight a certain by a guy by a given date. What makes it worse is Whyte brings very little to the table in terms of popularity and pay-per-view potential.
Joshua will fight Fury even if he’s Franchise belt-holder
“We would always want the fight because AJ wants to prove who’s the best heavyweight in the world,” said Hearn to Behind The Gloves when asked if Joshua would still want Fury fight if he’s Franchise champion.
“So the aim of this fight [Joshua vs. Fury] is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. But we also understand that [WBC mandatory] Dillian Whyte must get his shot [at Fury], and [WBO mandatory] Oleksandr Usyk must get his shot [against Joshua].
“There are all these mandatories queuing up in line now. So we’ve got to navigate around it, but I’m not going to navigate around it so that people are disrespected and not given their right opportunity. And so, Dillian Whyte must be a priority for Tyson Fury because that’s the ruling of the WBC,” said Hearn.
It’s evident that Joshua and Hearn would still take the fight with Fury even if he’s made the Franchise champion. There’s so much interest from boxing fans around the world in the Joshua-Fury battle, that the titles don’t mean anything. Fury and Joshua could both be belt-less, and the boxing world would still be interested in seeing the match.
Being a world champion has lost any real meaning in this era, thanks to the sanctioning bodies watering down each division with numerous titles up for grabs. It’s lost it’s meaning to be a champion. Even mediocre fighters are world champions nowadays, and it’s not a big deal to be called a champ now.
Fury might be doing himself a favor if he drop-kicked his WBC title if the World Boxing Council continues to insist that he face Whyte by February. If Joshua wants to fight for the undisputed championship, he can go after Whyte once he’s made an email WBC heavyweight champion.
AJ not interested in WBC Diamond title
“On your question, you’re quite right; I don’t want Anthony Joshua to fight for the Franchise Championship,” said Hearn on AJ not wanting to fight Fury for the Franchise strap. “In fact, you can’t even win the Franchise Championship, can you?
“No, he’s [Joshua] got to fight the WBC World champion. We want it for the undisputed,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua would be willing to fight for the WBC Diamond heavyweight title instead of the prestigious WBC belt.
If Hearn doesn’t want Joshua to fight Fury with him the Franchise champion, then he can always stand on his values and not make the fight. But Hearn has already said that he’ll STILL make the Joshua-Fury fight even with Tyson the Franchise champion, and he’ll still say it’s for the undisputed championship.
That part, I don’t understand. How can Joshua vs. Fury be for the undisputed champion when the Franchise belt can’t be won or lost? It’s an honorary title, so you don’t lose it if you get beaten. Hearn is still going to call it a fight for the undisputed champion.
It’s doubtful that the boxing public will see it that way, but oh well. If Hearn wants to embellish the significance of the Joshua-Fury fight, you can’t stop him fro doing that, can you?
You can’t blame Joshua for not being interested in the WBC Diamond belt, because that’s not the title that a recognized champion holds.
Dillian Whyte wants his title shot against Fury
“By the way, Dillian Whyte doesn’t want an email saying that he’s now WBC World champion,” said Hearn. “It wouldn’t even be his fault. You just get stick, don’t you? Look at Devin Haney.
“He worked himself into a position to be mandatory for Vasiliy Lomachenko. When he [Haney] got there, the WBC said, ‘Right, you’re [Lomachenko] the Franchise champion. Devin Haney, you can’t touch him, OK? The good news is, Devin Haney, you’re the new WBC world champion.’
“He’s [Haney] still getting the stick from that move that he had nothing to do with it. We didn’t request it, that Lomachenko become world champion; Top Rank did. And Top Rank will ask that Tyson Fury become Franchise champion.
“But Dillian Whyte has got to get his shot at the world title. Not a free title. A shot at the title. He’s not asking for anything for free. He’s got to fight Alexander Povetkin first here at the Fight Camp on August 22nd. So we’ve got to make sure that we get the Povetkin fight won, and make sure he gets his shot,” said Hearn.
We still don’t know if Fury will face Whyte or not. I’m sure it’ll make Hearn and Whyte happy if he does, but the fans won’t lose any sleep over it if that match doesn’t get made. Whyte hasn’t beaten anyone good enough for him to be taken seriously by fans as an opponent for Fury.