By Keith Idec
Eddie Hearn would welcome an Anthony Joshua-Tyson Fury fight if Fury upsets Deontay Wilder on December 1.
Wilder’s rematch clause would probably preclude a Joshua-Fury fight from happening immediately if Wilder were to lose to Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Hearn suspects Wilder won’t have to exercise that contractual right because Joshua’s promoter can’t see Fury defeating Wilder in their fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title.
“I think it’s gonna be a terrible fight and I think he’s gonna stink the place out,” Hearn said in reference to Fury. “He may even win the first couple rounds, but I do think he’ll get knocked out.”
Hearn insisted he isn’t hating on rival British promoter Frank Warren’s franchise fighter. He just doesn’t think the undefeated Fury can withstand Wilder’s power (40-0, 39 KOs).
“Listen, it’s nothing against him,” Hearn explained. “I absolutely admire Tyson Fury for what he’s done. … This is a guy who had major problems and has completely turned his life around. And I have the utmost respect for him. He’s not match sharp, he’s not match fit and I think Wilder hits too hard. And I think he’ll cut him up at some point.
“Don’t get me wrong – Fury’s gonna frustrate him, grab him, hold him, spin him, push him away, do it again. And [Wilder] may be behind after a couple of rounds. But eventually, he’ll get a hold of him. And when he does, I think he’ll win the fight.”
The 30-year-old Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) has fought twice since ending a 2½-year layoff June 9.
In his first fight since upsetting Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, Fury stopped Switzerland’s Sefer Seferi (23-2, 21 KOs) after four utterly uneventful rounds in Manchester, England. Two months later, the Manchester native convincingly out-boxed Italy’s Francesco Pianeta (35-5-1, 21 KOs) and won a 10-round unanimous decision August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Fury relinquished the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles two years ago without giving Klitschko the immediate rematch he was contractually owed. Understandably, a depressed Fury instead sought treatment for alcoholism and cocaine addiction.
While comparatively inactive overall, Fury has boxed twice since Wilder last fought.
Wilder will end nearly a nine-month layoff when he faces Fury. The knockout artist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, knocked out Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs, 2 NC) in the 10th round of his last fight, a dangerous optional title defense in which Wilder had to overcome severe trouble late in the seventh round to win March 3 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.