Eddie Hearn is hoping to make Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua finally happen this December for the undisputed heavyweight title.
Joshua will first have to get through the unbeaten former cruiserweight and current unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk this summer, having lost their first meeting. But if he can pick up another redemptive Saudi Arabian win, Joshua’s promoter wants the Watford native to face Fury before the year is out.
The two-time heavyweight champion lost his belts for the second time back in September against Usyk, but immediately activated his contractually obligated rematch. But the war in Ukraine caused the fight to be delayed, before contractual issues that are now said to have moved the event again from July 23 to the middle of August.
Speaking to fans on an Instagram Live stream today, Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn declared that he would like to make the long-awaited Fury and Joshua fight this year, should his man win his belts back. Fury has announced that he is retired from the sport, but he remains in training and is widely considered to be bluffing.
“I think you’ll see Joshua-Fury whatever happens, in all honesty,” Hearn admitted. “But hopefully we can see it for the undisputed world heavyweight championship in December.”
The Matchroom Boxing promoter is confident that Joshua will be in a position to fight for the undisputed title, predicting a major turnaround in the rematch this summer. “AJ KOs Usyk within six rounds,” Hearn added. “I rate Usyk but I believe in Anthony Joshua and I believe he’s going to put it right in the rematch, I really do.”
The delay to the fight is believed to be down to minor issues around the broadcasters and contracts, which Hearn says pushed the process back by around ten days. But according to Planet Sport, Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk has denied the reports.
He is said to have claimed that he has heard nothing beyond “internet rumours”. He also added that plans to delay the rematch further had “not been discussed” by the parties involved.
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The Telegraph reported today that the delay was likely, after Hearn teased the possibility in an interview with iFL TV yesterday. “We have agreed to a deal for the site, and the working date of July 23,” he said, before the Telegraph story came out today.
“We are pretty much ready to announce. When you question about whether there will be a delay. If there is you’re talking about two weeks, and it’s for no other reason than time to make sure we can promote the fight in the right way.
“The fight is happening, the fight is agreed in terms of where it will take place and both sides have agreed, both sides have agreed to the deal, both sides have agreed to everything. It’s just that it’s taken 10 days longer than we wanted it to. Without putting a date on it, all I can tell you is we’re finalising the final bit of paperwork and everything is agreed, so stand by.”
Fury has insisted that he is retired from the sport after his win over Dillian Whyte in April. But there is a general belief that he could be tempted out of retirement by an undisputed fight with Joshua, should the all-British clash be made possible.