Prior to reaching a promotional agreement with Frank Warren, former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) was in serious discussions with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom.
Last week, Fury made his return to the ring - after being inactive since his November 2015 upset of Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.
In what was a one-sided mismatch, Fury stopped the much smaller Sefer Seferi in four rounds. Seferi refused to fight beyond the fourth.
When they were in talks, Hearn was mapping out a four fight plans for Fury's comeback.
The first fight on the list would have been a potential clash with contender Travis Kauffman, who returned to the ring last Sunday with a close points win over Scott Alexander.
“When we were talking to sign him, I said ‘look, I understand you want an easy one’. I’ll give you an example, I said to him he could fight Travis Kauffman. That was a guy I wanted him to fight in his first fight back," Hearn told IFL TV.
“He won’t fight anywhere at the level of Kauffman for four fights he tells me. I said he could fight Kauffman, then he could fight Tony Bellew, Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua. That is my four-fight plan. That is probably about £30 million in his pocket right there.
“But he wanted four fights against a lower level – but it is going to kill his credibility and kill his value. Is he still a talented fighter? Of course he is although he didn’t look it. Is he still the same fighter? You’d think so. He’s done incredibly well to even get back in the gym.”
Hearn is still shaking his head at Fury's return against Seferi - and some of the recent statements being made by the former IBF, IBO, WBO, WBA champion.
The British promoter handles unified champion Anthony Joshua - which is the biggest money option for Fury.
But, Hearn is concerned that Fury's value will drop with these types of contests.
“You can’t call yourself the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and say ‘I will go back in with Joshua or Wilder in my first fight’ and then fight Sefer Seferi,” Hearn said.
“Don’t expect anyone better for the next few. This is the problem. What he said, there is an element of truth to that, he did deserve an easy one but Seferi isn’t even a boxer really. He’s the number two Albanian cruiserweight, number one was his brother. He was Ali-shuffling. My worry was always that Fury would do this and devalue himself in the bigger fights, making those fights even tougher to make."