Advertisement: IBO Boxing
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com
Advertisement

Hearn: Joshua Won't Be Held For Ransom By Usyk; We Could Vacate All The Belts

Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn says there is a 90% chance that the heavyweight unification fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury takes place in 2021.

That said, there is a 100% chance Hearn and Joshua will first need to address the situation pertaining to Joshua’s WBO mandatory challenger in Oleksandr Usyk.

The WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) successfully made his long-awaited IBF mandatory defense of Kubrat Pulev in December.

joshua-usyk

As soon as the fight was over, attention immediately shifted toward Joshua needing to handle Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) so that he could eventually face the WBC champion Fury.

“If everyone is smart together, we can find a solution, and I really want [Joshua vs. Fury] to be undisputed because that’s always been the dream for AJ, and we’re going to do everything we can,” Hearn told Boxing Social. “But we’re not going to be held to ransom by anyone, and if we lose one belt, we’ll probably vacate them all and say, ‘this is boxing now.’ But if everyone is sensible, we’ll be fair in return, hopefully, we can find a solution.”

When asked if Usyk is out of his contract with Matchroom, Hearn said “unless we deliver the AJ fight.”

The former cruiserweight king Usyk has been eyeing a fight with Joshua ever since he made his move up to heavyweight in 2019. The Ukrainian feels that he is finally ready to take on Joshua in a battle between 2012 Olympics gold medalists.

“I’ve heard someone say that Usyk wants a percentage of AJ and Fury’s purse to step aside,” said Hearn. “The problem is, when there’s a big fight like that, everyone [wants a piece of the pie] and the greed is unbelievable … It’s going to come down to the fighters, and the fighters are paying millions of dollars in sanction fees.

“It’s a situation where some people, and this isn’t really a dig at his team or anything, but some people believe he should be getting millions, or dollars to step aside for [the Joshua vs. Fury] fight. Really, what will happen is, we will apply to the WBO for the undisputed fight. If they say, ‘no, you have to talk to Oleksandr Usyk.’ We will go to Oleksandr Usyk, and we will try and make him happy to try and make that fight go on.

“You have to be respected because you’re in a mandatory position, but there is a solution. As I’ve said before, this fight between Fury and AJ will happen with all the belts or not one belt at all.”

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman recently addressed the situation in regard to unified champions like Joshua wanting to make the most desirable fights happen first.

“It’s a sensitive and problematic [situation]," said Sulaiman. "It’s complicated, and it’s not easy. Of course there are examples, there are mistakes, and we’re trying to handle it the best way possible. It’s an important topic in our sport that deserves attention.

“Our rules are very clear. We want the best fights. We want the development of the sport. We do not want to give mandatories to fulfill and just to impose. We are very flexible and understanding case by case. We will not allow a mandatory contender to abuse that position.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by SUBZER0ED on 01-12-2021

I understand the desire to make a mega fight with AJ vs Fury and paying Usyk to step aside to make it happen. But to suggest that Joshua would even consider dropping all of his belts if Usyk won't accept…

Comment by Songbird on 01-12-2021

joshua would by furyious if he had to give up his prized belt or belts Sulaiman wondering if the can create a new belt out of this situation

Comment by KingGilgamesh on 01-12-2021

Any thread with Hearn has his clique of professional British bumlickers with a million posts to justify his bull****. No promoter should be talking like that about a fighter in their own stable, the dude is so ****ing unprofessional. I…

Comment by _Rexy_ on 01-12-2021

[QUOTE=Kiowhatta;21012780]This is off-topic but I can scarcely find a thread about any meaningful upcoming LHW fights. Most of the divisions top fighters, for example Beterbiev, hasn't fought since Gvozdyk back in 2019, Bivol hasn't fought since 2019 and that was…

Comment by Laligalaliga on 01-12-2021

[QUOTE=REDEEMER;21011160]Boxing people aren’t that smart in general even on here . I find it amusing how easy they are to pick apart . I learned to ease up give them a head start with the posters you are talking about…

ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (69)
Advertisement
Top Headlines
Bob Arum: Golden Boy Wouldn't Put Ryan Garcia In With Teofimo Lopez; Easy Work Angelo Leo: Always Wanted To Celebrate Title Win With A Crowd, More Motivation To Stay Champion Thurman To Arum: Stop Talking Sh-t! Not My Fault You Can’t Afford Fight For Crawford Michel Rivera: Ryan Garcia Has a Great Punch But a Glass Chin Hearn Says Boxing Events Must Continue or Sport Could Fizzle Out McGirt Was Unaware of Kovalev's Doping Test, Felt Camp Was Going Well Manager: Pacquiao or McGregor Would Beat Mayweather in Rematch Dominic Breazeale Vows To Blast Out Otto Wallin With Huge Knockout Fred Levin: An Appreciation (1937-2021) Sergio Martinez Working For April Return, Eyes Murata Shot By Year's End Thunderdome Boxing Series Returns on February 26 in Perth Arum on Lopez's Options: Haney Doesn't Mean Much, Not an Attraction Like Davis, Garcia Talks Progress For Canelo Alvarez To Move Forward With Matchroom/DAZN Ivan Golub, Melissa Oddessa, Joe Williams Back on February 20 Inoue-Dasmarinas: Date, Site Of Fight Depends On COVID-19 Restrictions In Japan Junior Cruzat To Fight For WBA Regional Title on February 26 Joshua-Fury: Hearn Wants Second Fight in Cardiff, But Says Pressure May Stop It Buddy McGirt Predicts Shakur Stevenson Gets KO'ed by Teofimo Lopez, Starts Heated Squabble Artur Beterbiev Co-Trainer: Bivol Is The Most Important Fight At 175 Plant: At Some Point, Me And Canelo Are Gonna Get In There And Do Our Thing Josh Warrington May Vacate IBF Title, Fight Gary Russell Jr. Bruno Tarimo Cracks IBF's Top Ten, Inches Closer To Title Shot Terri Harper's Manager Hopes To Achieve Undisputed Goal in Two Fights Teofimo Lopez: If No Kambosos - Then I Want Haney, Garcia, Davis Chris Eubank Jr. Has Golovkin as #1 Target on List, Says Promoter Carlos Ocampo Destroys Abraham Juarez in One Round Gervonta Davis on Sparring Teofimo, Haney - Pushing For Fight With Ryan Garcia Robeisy Ramirez: If Not This Year - By 2022 I'll Be Fighting For a World Title David Morrell Aims To Fight Four Times By The End of 2021 Bjornsson Drops Ward, Who Rallies in Third: Both React To Exhibition Hearn: If Both Win Their Fights, Expect Josh Kelly vs. Conor Benn in 2021 Berchelt: Valdez Motivated By Those That Say He Has No Chance; It's Going To Be A War Ryan Garcia: Can Only Become Greater Learning From Reynoso, Canelo Joseph Diaz Eager To End 130-Pound Title Unification Drought Daily Bread Mailbag: Sonny Liston, Ryan Garcia, Heavyweights, More David Benavidez Demands Caleb Plant Fight, Eyes Canelo Alvarez Demetrius Andrade: I Never Ducked Charlo, That's Crazy! Povetkin-Whyte Rematch Could Go To Gibraltar, Monaco or Middle East Victor Pasillas Grinding Hard For Ra'eese Aleem Clash Chantelle Cameron: Let's See if Melissa Hernandez Backs Up Her Talk
Advertisement
Advertisement
Latest Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement