If there is one thing that boxing has been repeatedly criticised for over the years, it is the difficulty within the sport to pair two fighters against each other when the stakes are at their highest.
Last weekend’s heavyweight tilt between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was evidence of what can happen when this is eschewed — and it led to the biggest heavyweight boxing gate even seen in the state of Nevada. That record would likely be eclipsed should Las Vegas host winner-takes-all showdown between new WBC champ Fury and Anthony Joshua, the man who holds the other three recognised world titles the division has to offer.
To most, this seems the obvious next move for both fighters but fears remain in the sometimes complicated landscape of boxing matchmaking that the various promotional and broadcasting deals can present a roadblock.
Not so, says Joshua’s representative Eddie Hearn.
“Everybody is very clear on this. Everybody wants this fight – Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, MTK, Top Rank, Frank Warren, Matchroom,” he said following Fury’s seven round destruction of Wilder.
“There are some hurdles to overcome on the broadcasting, but nothing too much. I promise you this fight will happen. If we have to fight (Kubrat) Pulev, we’ve got to beat Pulev, and if he has to fight Wilder, he’s got to beat Wilder again. Both of those things will happen. Fury will beat Wilder again and Joshua will knock Pulev clean out, despite Bob Arum telling us very differently.
No need for a third let’s go straight to it in the Summer! #undisputed
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) February 23, 2020
“You will get this fight. We will do everything that it takes to make this fight. Last time, you had us and Team Wilder and we were locking heads. Right now, you have two guys and two camps that genuinely want this fight, that genuinely will do everything that they can to make this fight. It is the only fight.
“When are we ever going to get the chance of two British world heavyweight champions fighting for the undisputed title against each other? It’s never happened before it will never happen again. We’d be clowns, we’d be idiots if we didn’t make this fight. We believe we win the fight, they believe they win the fight, so let’s see it.”
Any movement on a Fury vs. Joshua showdown for all the marbles is contingent on whether or not Wilder takes up his contractual option of another rematch. He has 30 days from the date of the fight to make that call.
“He [Joshua] phoned me yesterday, we had a good conversation on the phone and his first thing that he said is: ‘how do we make this fight happen?’ I said to him, look firstly this hinges on Wilder,” Hearn continued.
“If we can go straight into the Fury fight this summer, that is everybody’s preference.”