Home Boxing News Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is still viable this...

Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury is still viable this year

Anthony Joshua’s promoter still believes a fight against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 32-0-1 (23) is a live option.

The 33-year-old Fury announced his intention to retire following his sixth-round knockout victory over mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte 28-3 (19) in London last April.

A bout between Joshua 24-2 (22) and Fury was expected to take place last year before the latter was ordered to face Deontay Wilder 42-2-1 (41) for a third time.

Joshua, 32, moved on to face 35-year-old Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk 19-0 (13) in defence of his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles in Tottenham last September, a fight he lost by unanimous decision.

Joshua and Usyk are expected to rematch in the northern summer with a date and venue still to be advised.

Many pundits are predicting a second loss for Joshua in that fight, which most would assume would put a dampener on a proposed Fury bout. Not so, says Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn.

“I think the fight between AJ and Fury is always there,” the Matchroom Boxing boss told The Sun. “I mean, I still get questions walking down the street, even today, ‘When’s AJ fighting Fury?’ It’s like, ‘He’s got Usyk first’. ‘Oh, has he?’ So of course, you don’t want to go back-to-back defeats but Usyk is also pound-for-pound, I think possibly number one right now.

“Losing to Usyk is never terrible, the Fury fight is always there, but for the undisputed heavyweight world championship, which it would be, it would just be the biggest fight of all time.  And I think if AJ beats Usyk, that would be an automatic fight that you will see in December.”

One of the reasons for the delay in securing a date for Usyk-Joshua II has been the Brit’s broadcast status. Today he announced he will be leaving Sky Sports after signing a long-term deal with sports streaming service DAZN that will also see him become a shareholder, special advisor and brand ambassador for the business.

The deal has cleared the way for the Usyk-Joshua rematch to happen, which is now expected to take place in Saudi Arabia on August 20.

“I am entering a new phase in my career with a new training environment, new coaches and now a new broadcaster,” said Joshua.

“Negotiations at this level take time so I am pleased to have it all wrapped up and now I can fully focus on giving the fans and DAZN what they want, knockouts in the glamour division.

“I’ve been working with DAZN and following its progress for a long time. We have enjoyed a really successful partnership in the US for many years and I know the team and understand the passion and drive of the business.

“DAZN’s vision and passion to innovate is what attracted me to the partnership. They are leading the digital landscape in sport and the future of sports broadcasting. I am really looking forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Hearn added: “We have been successfully working in partnership with DAZN for many years now and this new announcement with Anthony Joshua emphasises why they continue to set the standard for the future of sports broadcasting.

“We have a shared vision with DAZN to make it the unrivalled home of boxing for fans across the world. Now with Anthony joining the team the stage is set to do even more together and we are looking forward to getting started.”