President of Matchroom Boxing Barry Hearn has said he is doubtful that Anthony Joshua will ever fight Tyson Fury after negotiations fell through between the pair earlier this year. “I’m doubtful,’ he told Betfred TV at the Betfred World Matchplay, when asked whether the fight would take place.
“Eddie thinks it will, but then the money that was available last time didn’t do it. I really hope we do, maybe I’m just getting old and cynical but I really just don’t believe anybody anymore. I listen to a load of rubbish and I am getting to the age where I just don’t want to listen to it anymore.
“I want to say ‘put up or shut up’. Get in the ring, give the public what they want. I know AJ is 100 percent there, and wants to do it tomorrow. So let’s hope Tyson Fury comes through with the same thought process as well. Best of luck to him should he ever fight Deontay Wilder as well.”
With his son Eddie in charge of negotiations from AJ’s point of view, for Barry, there is only one reason this fight hasn’t already been agreed:
“There is no doubt about it,” he replied when questioned if Fury was ducking the fight. “If you have got any common sense, don’t listen to all this nonsense about ‘we’d sold £15m worth of tickets’ - you can check the inventory online. You don’t have to make up things like that. The British public are not idiots, they know. But listen, that is his decision and I respect his decision.
“We all want to see it so let’s hope, as the dust settles, they both have tough fights, let’s keep our fingers crossed that they both come through and then let’s hope that common sense comes back into the equation and they give the fight fans of the world what we want. That is all we are asking for, it is not a lot to ask, there is hundreds of millions of pounds in it for the fighters, they are never going to want for anything in the rest of their life. All that fight fans want, myself included, is to watch the fight!”
Before these two do meet, Fury must come through his delayed trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder, while Joshua will take on the undefeated Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Even that one caused some friendly family debate between the two vastly experienced promotors.
“September 25th, I’m not sure when Eddie is putting the tickets on sale but they won’t last long. We had a disagreement in the Hearn household. Eddie is very confident and thinks that AJ is too big for Usyk - I am a big Usyk fan and I think he can cause AJ some problems. I believe AJ can cope with those problems, but it is a hell of a fight to take on.
“It is no tickover fight, put it that way. This is a proper fight and it is what AJ wanted. You don’t want to duck anyone, you don’t want to walk away and on September 25th we are going to have one of the big occasions but there are others coming up.”