Eddie Hearn believes the collapse of Tyson Fury’s proposed fight with Oleksandr Usyk could lead to Fury fighting Anthony Joshua as early as this summer.
Joshua returns from successive defeats by Usyk when he fights Jermaine Franklin on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, and if he wins the clamour for him to fight another of the world’s leading heavyweights will again grow.
Dillian Whyte remains widely regarded as his likeliest opponent in the event of victory, but with Fury again seeking a suitable opponent and another significant purse, Hearn believes that the fight between the WBC champion and Joshua can finally be made.
The promoter also believes that a fight between the two – Fury-Usyk appeared increasingly likely to be scheduled for Wembley – would end up in Saudi Arabia, and that the money Fury would earn for fighting Joshua would surpass even that he could hope for against Usyk.
“I think the Fury fight is there to be made if he comes through [against Franklin] – I genuinely do,” Hearn told ProBox TV News.
“If he wins, he doesn’t have a fight scheduled for the summer. Fury doesn’t have a fight scheduled for the summer. There’s no politics; there’s no mandatory; there’s nothing stopping the fight. It’s a chance to get it done.
“But we’d have to do it quietly, to present to the fighters when it is done. If you said to both fighters now – if I said to AJ, ‘I’m talking to George Warren about Fury’, he’d go, ‘Fucking, yeah righto, pull the other one', and I think Fury would go, ‘Fuck him, fuck him, blah, blah, blah’.
“So I think go to the fighters and say, ‘This is actually done now’.
“[Saudi Arabia is] where the money is for that fight.”
Defeats inflicted by the masterful Usyk have stalled Joshua’s career, contributing to his return to The O2. Fury would remain the favourite against the Ukrainian, but discussing the fact Fury-Usyk didn’t get finalised after appearing so close, Hearn said: “I think it’s more, [Fury] knows how difficult that fight is. For the money involved at Wembley he just didn’t fancy it.
“[Joshua generates] three or four times more. That’s what [Fury] wants.”