Eddie Hearn has enjoyed several hearty laughs while reading Tyson Fury’s recent comments.
The unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion claimed last weekend that he would come out of retirement to fight Anthony Joshua for free if Joshua avenges his loss to Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Fury also stated that he would want a domestic showdown with Joshua to take place at Wembley Stadium in London, where fans could enter free of charge, and to air on free television, not pay-per-view.
The only thing Fury said that Hearn believes is that the gigantic showman will fight again, but only if the money is right, particularly for a bout with Joshua.
“Anyone with a brain cell will know that Tyson Fury will only fight again if he gets a shedload of money,” Hearn told co-hosts Barak Bess and Akin Reyes during an episode of “The DAZN Boxing Show. “The Usyk fight will not generate the kind of money that the AJ fight will.”
Ukraine’s Usyk (19-1, 13 KOs) is favored to defeat England’s Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) again because the undefeated southpaw completely out-boxed Joshua in their 12-round fight for Joshua’s IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts September 25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Joshua’s longtime promoter is nevertheless confident that Joshua will regain his titles when he faces Usyk again and set up what would be a remarkably marketable matchup between two beloved British heavyweights.
“Listen, AJ’s gotta take care of business,” Hearn said. “It’s a very tough task. But if and when he does, Tyson Fury against Anthony Joshua is not the biggest fight in boxing. It’s the biggest fight ever in the history of the sport. Right? And I will make sure that we do the right job, as we have done since he turned professional, for [Joshua]. And, by the way, again, I can’t believe we’re having this conversation – Tyson Fury will wanna milk every dollar out of that fight that is available.”
If Usyk beats Joshua a second time, Hearn thinks an opportunity to become boxing’s undisputed heavyweight champion will still lure Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) out of a retirement he announced after he knocked out another British heavyweight, Dillian Whyte, in the sixth round April 23 at a sold-out Wembley Stadium.
“It’s not as big,” Hearn said of Fury-Usyk. “You know, it’s nowhere near as big. But it’s still the undisputed fight. And you’ve gotta ask yourself, what do you want? I think Fury is a historian. I think he wants legacy, I do, genuinely, and I think he would like to be undisputed. But if the money’s not right he won’t do it.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.