Eddie Hearn believes Fury vs Usyk collapse has opened door for Anthony Joshua fight

Eddie Hearn has said the collapse of Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk may open the door for the British heavyweight to finally box compatriot Anthony Joshua.

Fury vs Usyk was targeted for 29 April at London’s Wembley Stadium, where the winner would have been crowned undisputed heavyweight champion. However, talks fell through on Wednesday (22 March).

Hearn, who promotes Joshua, has now expressed a fresh desire to pit “AJ” against Fury – despite that bout failing to come together twice before, most recently in December.

Speaking ahead of Joshua’s fight with Jermaine Franklin, which is set for 1 April at the O2 Arena, Hearn told the Daily Mail on Wednesday: “The AJ fight is worth so much more financially to Tyson Fury than the Usyk fight.

“So, for me, the way I’m looking at it is: If AJ does a job on Franklin, I would like to go straight into the Tyson Fury fight.

“We’ve already got the terms. We’ve got the basis of that fight agreed, which we would still accept [...] and I would like to make AJ against [Fury], and I would make that now.”

Speaking before Fury v Usyk was called off, Hearn told the Mail: “If that Usyk fight [with Fury] doesn’t get over the line, I’ll sit down with George Warren, and I will thrash out a deal to get that fight over the line.

“But [Joshua] still has to win 1 April. He’s coming back from those defeats [to Usyk], it’s a very tough fight. I’m nervous, but hopefully he can make a statement and then call out Tyson Fury after that. Josh also his reservations over how serious Tyson Fury is.”

Hearn was referring to comments made by Joshua earlier in the week. The Briton, 33, said of Fury, 34: “I can’t say I will sit and wait around for this geezer. There are other fighters out there and other great fights I will have.

Anthony Joshua (left) with promoter Eddie Hearn (centre) and opponentJermaine Franklin (PA)
Anthony Joshua (left) with promoter Eddie Hearn (centre) and opponentJermaine Franklin (PA)

“With or without Fury, I will not wake up tomorrow and be regretting my whole boxing career. If he is on it, I’m on it; if he is not, he is not. Whatever.

“I’ll be real with you: That Fury situation, as much as I love to entertain that gossip, I have been there twice [in summer 2021 and winter 2022]. People don’t remember that; I was supposed to fight him before I fought Usyk the first time, and he pulled out due to his legal battle with [Deontay] Wilder, the arbitration.

“That was all up in the air, all done online. Then we had the one for this December. Yeah, look... That fight, will it get made? I don’t know. Look at the s*** that they are going through now with this Usyk stuff. It is just crazy.

“Well, it is actually good that people are starting to see – for someone that don’t publicise everything – what actually goes on in negotiations. It is good that people can actually see the s*** that people have got to put up with just to make a fight. Me and Usyk had two successful fights done, you know? So, it is just crazy.”

Ukrainian Usyk outpointed Joshua in 2021 to take the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, before retaining them against AJ last August with another decision win.

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