Could Boris Johnson Really Be The Man To Make AJ Vs Fury Happen In The UK?

Eddie Hearn insists the government may need to help if the fight is to take place in England
10:13, 28 Feb 2020

Boris Johnson has a lot on his plate right now, he is the Prime Minister after all. Having won the general election in December, the Conservative leader has had a busy start to the year with public concerns over the Coronavirus dominating the media.

However, ‘BoJo’ could also be needed by Eddie Hearn after the boxing promoter claimed he might need help from the government to ensure Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury can fight in the UK. Fans are desperate to see the two Englishmen go toe-to-toe in the ring but, with millions wanting to see the bout, it may not be easy to get the two fighting in this country.

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Hearn insists they "can’t let politics get in the way" though the money on offer from the States, Saudi and across the globe will be huge. "Everyone says, 'tell the guys not to worry about the money, just do it in England', but it doesn't work like that, unfortunately," Hearn told BBC Sport.

"Everyone wants to do it in England, I want it in the UK, AJ wants it in the UK, Fury will, but these guys have teams who will say 'can you tell us all the offers.' If one offer is five times the other, then that is where they are going. But our job is to make sure the money is in the UK, whether we have to beg for it, go to the government for it, whatever we have to do to make that fight in the UK.

"It is the undisputed world heavyweight championship between two Britons. If we can do it in the UK, it is something that will never, ever be forgotten. But we could be talking it being worth an extra £40, £50, £60 million each having it elsewhere. And we can't forget this is prize fighting. Whilst everyone wants the fight in England, remember you can get hurt in this sport, we have seen fighters lose their lives recently in this sport.

"We can't take these fighters for granted and we will try and deliver everything we can for them. But if we can make it in Britain, I'll even become popular, so that will be the aim."

After Fury’s stunning slaying of American Deontay Wilder last Saturday, he and Joshua now hold all of the division’s belts and so the UK holds more power.

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"We've got two Brits who can unify and become the undisputed champion of the world, we must take that chance and we will take it," promoter Hearn told BBC Sport. "Three months ago [Wilder and Andy Ruiz's promoter] Al Haymon and the Americans had the heavyweight division on lockdown, now we control it all.

"Everyone is combined to try and make it happen and talks are already under way. Because me, AJ, Tyson Fury, [Fury's co-promoter] Bob Arum, all these people, they want that fight to happen."

The two fighters are understood to be keen to meet in the UK should a fight be agreed, with Hearn revealing it could happen in winter 2020. While Fury has a rematch with Wilder, AJ is set to take on mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, with the fight expected to take place on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and an announcement planned for next week, according to Hearn.

Hearn insists he and rival promoted Frank Warren won’t let their own politics interfere in the bout happening in Britain. "It's good for British boxing," he said. "But we've got to keep our heads. If we start digging at each other and making it all about ego and stuff like that, I am not really interested in that, all we have to do is make the fight.

"To do that we have to sit down with Bob Arum and [management company] MTK, who call all the shots on Tyson Fury, and try and make it happen. We will always have pot-shots at each other, but the key is it is not about me, it is not about Frank Warren, it is about the people who can make this fight happen and that is us and Bob Arum.

"We can't let the politics get in the way. I'm happy to sit down with Frank. I'm not saying 'leave him alone and I will deal with Bob', we will all sit down together to make it happen. When there is an opportunity like this, I will never let ego get in the way, I won't say I won't deal with Frank. It's not my style.

"If we can deliver for the broadcasters and the fans, let's make it happen."