Eddie Hearn hasn’t been pleased with how he has been portrayed by his rivals as it relates to the now apparently flatlined negotiations for a Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua all-British heavyweight showdown.
Hearn, who promotes London’s Joshua, had been seemingly in perpetual talks with Fury’s team, which includes his promoter Frank Warren of Queensberry, for the past several weeks to stage a fight between the two star heavyweights on Dec. 3 in Cardiff, Wales. Fury’s US promoter is Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank Inc. Both Arum and Warren have spoken to the press about ongoing negotiations, with the 90-year-old Arum insisting recently that Hearn has been the main reason the fight has not been made — among other pointed comments. (Hearn has beefed with Arum and Warren over the years).
“Eddie Hearn is stalling everything, because he doesn’t want the fight to happen,” Arum told Talk Sport. “And why doesn’t he want the fight to happen? Because Joshua’s lost three out of his last five fights and he figures to lose again if he fights Tyson Fury and so Eddie is in effect being an impediment.”
On Monday, Hearn announced that, as far as he is concerned, the Fury-Joshua fight is “off,” adding that he is happy to pick up discussions at any point in time. Hearn, however, took issue with the way the deal has been represented by members of Fury’s team, particularly Arum. Hearn pointed out that discussions regarding the UK and US broadcaster “situation”, thought to be a focal point and top hurdle to striking a deal, was never resolved, as Arum, in Hearn's view, had implied.
“Bob Arum hasn’t had one phone call about this fight,” Hearn told iFL TV. “No one from Matchroom has spoken to Bob Arum … he’s just not involved. Frank Warren, who has also had his comments on this situation, has not had one phone call with Team AJ on this fight. Everything has been between myself and (Frank Warren’s son) George Warren, and occasionally Frank in calls with the lawyers … so I can only tell you—they’ve been great by the way. Again, no disagreements.
“When people come out who weren’t even involved in the process with their opinions, like Bob saying, ‘Everything was done.’ No it f------ wasn’t,” Hearn said. “So what was the US broadcast situation? What was the global TV rights if that was ‘all done’? It wasn’t. But I want to focus on fights that are happening.”
Hearn said he was also greatly peeved by Fury’s repeated insistence on setting seemingly arbitrary deadlines for Joshua to sign the contract. Hearn said such behavior made negotiations all the more difficult. Nevertheless, Hearn said he has hope that talks will resume again.
“I’m not turning around at this point saying ‘we will not fight Tyson Fury,’ Hearn said. “We will fight Tyson Fury. But we can’t keep having these fake deadlines put on us. To do work by the end of the day and then we miss that and then the fight’s off and we’ve missed the deadline and it’s our fault, and then two days later [Fury says,] ‘Do you want to talk about?'"