Eddie Hearn has revealed that legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum called him to tell him to stop talking about the potential Anthony Joshua v Tyson Fury fight as they move into the final stages of talks.
Hearn has been outspoken about the possibility of bringing the two British heavyweight champions together for a unification bout this year, regularly claiming a decision could be announced within two weeks, but in doing so he has raised the ire of his esteemed American colleague.
“Bob Arum phoned me two nights ago and said look ‘I think you should stop talking about Fury-Joshua,’” Hearn told the Betfred Boxing Show, impersonating Arum’s voice as he did so. “I said ‘Why?’ and he said ‘Well if you do then I’m going to have to talk about it,’ I said ‘But I’m getting asked about it 10 times a day, what do you want me to say?’”
The all-British fight between the unbeaten lineal and WBC heavyweight champion Fury and the WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO belt holder Joshua is one that the world is desperate to see. After Joshua beat mandatory challenge Kubrat Pulev in December, talk instantly turned to them getting this fight on, with no more obstacles standing in the way of either of the two giants.
“The truth is we’ve sent a contract to Bob Arum and Top Rank, they have come back with their points which are quite minimal and we are working through them,” Hearn revealed in his latest update. With constant questions about when this fight will be announced, the Matchroom Boxing promoter says he remains confident things will be wrapped up in a fortnight, although fans shouldn’t expect a venue to be announced as soon as the contracts are signed.
“I mean, I keep saying ‘two weeks’ so I’ll stay safe and say two weeks, but our plan is to get this fight announced, to let the public know that both guys have signed for this fight, and then we will go out and talk to the relevant sites and countries where we have had approaches for, [before we confirm] the official site and the date. So that will be the process and hopefully you will get that first announced, done and dusted, in the next two weeks.”
AJ was last seen in the ring when he knocked out Pulev in the ninth round, but for Fury it has been a much longer wait without action. He dismantled Deontay Wilder in late February 2020 and looked all set to fight the American in a trilogy match later last year until several delays forced him to forego the fight, which itself could have delayed or cancelled any possible bout with Joshua.
Now the two Brits look set to finally agree a deal this month, which will see an undisputed British heavyweight champion of the world crowned for the first time since the great Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield in November 1999.