Joshua camp tells Fury team to resolve issue with Wilder BY END OF WEEK or they will ‘move on’ to likely bout with Usyk
Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn has insisted Anthony Joshua will 'move on' if a legal wrangle between potential heavyweight superfight foe Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder cannot be resolved.
In a video posted to the promotion company's official Twitter account, Hearn told of how he heard the news of the arbitration ruling demanding a third fight between Fury and Wilder by September 15.
The decision means that Fury and Joshua's planned title unification blockbuster slated for Saudi Arabia on August 14 is now in serious jeopardy.
READ MORE: Fury must fight Wilder unless American steps aside as Saudi superfight with Joshua is thrown into chaos
"I’d just settled down and then the phone started blowing up, then Bob Arum [Fury's promoter] called me and all hell breaks loose. It was a shock to the system," Hearn began.
"This negotiation has been going on for three to four months. We’d always been told this wasn’t a problem, but that’s their business."
"I think Bob Arum was in shock," Hearn claimed.
🗣️ “We were told by Fury’s team the arbitration wouldn’t be an issue. Let’s see if they can pull something out the bag for their fighter. We have to look after AJ” - @EddieHearn exclusive out nowWatch in full ⬇️https://t.co/7zXFOlrrJLpic.twitter.com/aVC9iT4BC5— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) May 18, 2021
"It’s quite frustrating, we’ve been working tirelessly to get this over the line."
"As far as I understand it, Tyson Fury wants to fight Anthony Joshua. The partners in Saudi weren’t best pleased," he said.
"I hope it does [go ahead]. We’ve got a fantastic deal in place for both fighters. I hope, but hopeful? I don’t know. We were told this arbitration issue wouldn’t be a problem. It is a problem."
"Everyone had pretty much started a full training camp.
"AJ’s been here before, he just said to me, ‘go do your work, I’ll be in the gym.’"
🗣 Eddie Hearn with an update on Joshua vs. Fury pic.twitter.com/1lPtWdCxgV— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) May 18, 2021
Calling the furor "just another day of the boxing business", Hearn said the sport "can give you the highest highs and kick you in the nuts on occasion" and admitted that "really, if [Fury’s] hands are tied, we have to fight elsewhere."
"We hope that fight can still take place on August 14, but we have to have a Plan B in place and probably a Plan C," he stressed, before giving an ultimatum.
"If Team Fury don’t get their act together by the end of this week, we’ll have to look elsewhere for the fight. [Oleksandr] Usyk is the mandatory [to Joshua's WBO title]."
"I said [to Usyk’s team] that Team Fury is trying to resolve the issue, if they can’t, there’s a very good chance we’re fighting you," Hearn went on.
"One of the reasons the Fury fight was ruled out [in the UK] is because we couldn’t get guarantees of a full crowd. [But] we hope Plan A comes to fruition."
"This week [is the deadline], we can’t wait around," Hearn repeated.
"We were told by Fury’s team that the arbitration wouldn’t be a problem, that’s on them. We want to be in a position to decide by the end of this week.
"Exciting, disappointing, boxing. Let’s see if Team Fury can pull something out of the bag for their fighter. For us, [it's] business as usual for the career of Anthony Joshua," Hearn concluded.
Bob Arum issued a statement on an arbitrator ruling #FuryWilder3 must happen by Sept. 15. (via @MarkKriegel) pic.twitter.com/kJArNyaWTg— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) May 18, 2021
Speaking himself on the latest developments, Arum vowed to ESPN that Top Rank will not pay Wilder "to step aside", in a nod to what many think are the Alabama native's true motives behind kicking up a stink.
"It's better to get rid of him and go about our business," Arum suggested,while also confirming that he has reserved Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium for Fury vs Wilder III on July 24.
Fighting to a controversial draw in late 2018 then stopping him in the seventh round by TKO in a second meeting in February 2020, Fury beating Wilder again would bookend their trilogy and allow the Fury-Joshua bout to be made in "November or December" as Arum highlighted.
If the potential superfight were to take place in the months that the 89-year-old indicated, this could open the door to a date at the 90,000-holding Wembley and not Saudi Arabia, in a move that would please UK boxing fans who felt put out by plans Fury claimed on Sunday were already concrete in the Middle East.Also on rt.com ‘See you in Saudi’: Fury says date confirmed for Joshua showdown in ‘biggest sporting event ever to grace planet Earth’ (VIDEO)