By: Sean Crose
According to Anthony Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn, his fighter “felt all along that they didn’t want the fight.” The “they” Hearn is referring to here is Tyson Fury and his team. Joshua and Fury were set for a major fight in Saudi Arabia to decide the undefeated heavyweight championship of the world when an American arbiter last week ruled that Fury had to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time by September. According to Hearn, Joshua believed team Fury wanted to avoid a battle for the undisputed heavyweight championship all along. “I felt differently,” Hearn recalled in an interview with DAZN.
“I didn’t feel it about their team,” he said, “but I felt that Fury wanted the fight. Maybe he didn’t. Certain people didn’t want this fight, and they’ve got their way for now.” Needless to say, team Wilder is far from happy with how things have worked out. “AJ feels that the entire team never wanted the fight,” said Hearn, “and they used his name for clout.” Truth be told, Fury did say a few months back that a third bout with Wilder was entirely possible.
“Don’t write Wilder off out of the occasion yet,” Fury said in an interview last winter. “He can be fighting me next, who knows? I could have a fair trilogy with Wilder yet…there’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes, and you know, and Wilder might be next. Who knows?” In fairness, Fury at the time was voicing his frustration about a bout with Joshua not being made. “I’m not going to hold my breath for it,” he said of a Joshua showdown, “that’s for sure. I’m not putting all my eggs all in one basket because I’ve been guilty of doing that before and then these fights don’t happen, and then I end up in a massive depression, and feel like killing myself, so I’m not gunning to say this fight’s definitely happening in May, June, August, whenever.”
If Fury wanted the Joshua fight – and he certainly seemed to – he was right to prepare for things going sideways. For now he’s going to fight Wilder again in September while Joshua will most likely face Oleksandr Usyk. Hopefully, Joshua and Fury will eventually face off. Hearn, however, is wary at the moment. “It sounds easy to do,” he told DAZN, “but at no point have the Fury team said. ‘Let’s get this fight locked in for December.’ They’ve just gone completely quiet.”
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