Undisputed ‘Can’t afford to be restricted by the rules’ – says Eddie Hearn
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn believes the current politics in boxing hinders the making of the biggest fights available during the pandemic.
Firstly, Hearn is deep in talks to make a massive undisputed heavyweight battle between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, with contracts on the verge of being signed.
But discussions over when WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk gets his stipulation shot are a significant talking point.
The Ukrainian is next up for Joshua, as ratified by WBO President Paco Valcarcel. On the other hand, Hearn doesn’t want anything getting in the way of Fury vs. Joshua.
Suggestions Usyk could face Joe Joyce for the interim title have been thrown into the debate. Although with Fury vs. Joshua aiming to be a two-fight saga, it’s hard to see when the former cruiserweight king, or Joyce, for that matter, would then be afforded their chance.
This scenario is where Hearn wants the WBO to relax their stance and pull in the same direction of getting the battle of the division’s top two over the line with every title – at all costs.
“I’ve been speaking to a lot of governing bodies in the last couple of months because now is a pivotal time in terms of belts and politics,” Hearn told the Toe-to-Toe Podcast.
“We certainly cannot afford in boxing right now to be restricted by the rules and the requirements of governing bodies. It’s hard enough as it is.
“Big fights are what we need in boxing. But at the same time, you can’t just disregard a mandatory challenger like Oleksandr Usyk.
“You can’t say, ‘Sorry, mate, you got to wait. You boxed your final eliminator.’
“I spoke to (WBO president) Paco Valcarcel. I said, ‘Look, Paco, you’re going to have a tough spot because probably in a couple of weeks, I’m going to write to you saying, great news, we’ve made one of the biggest fights (Fury vs. AJ) in boxing history.
“‘We’ve made the biggest fight in boxing. It’s the undisputed heavyweight world champion. It’s between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Paco, my old son, are you on board?’
“And he’s going to go, ‘Ah, have you spoken to Usyk?’ I’m going to go, ‘Not yet. I’m asking you (to delay Usyk). Do you want to sanction this fight or not?’
“He’s either going to go, ‘Yes, I do. On you go’ or ‘I can’t really until you talk to Usyk.’ Then I got to go talk to Usyk,” he added.
RUTHLESS EDDIE HEARN
Those views aired by the Essex man are certainly not going to go down well with any of the four major sanctioning bodies.
That won’t worry Hearn in the longer term.
Hearn has already questioned the future role of all four of the organizations.
His ruthlessness may undoubtedly be what’s required, though, to keep all the championships on the line for Fury-AJ.
A big heap of cold hard step-aside cash in Usyk’s pocket may also do the job.