Eddie Hearn has lifted the lid on an angry phone call he had with Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum after the Gypsy King’s fight with Anthony Joshua fell apart.
The two British boxing icons were all set to meet in a highly-anticipated unification bout in the middle of August, the first of two fights to determine the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
But an arbitration court ruled that Fury must fight Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight this summer, therefore postponing the all-star British bout with Joshua now preparing to take on Oleksandr Usyk later in the summer.
Eddie Hearn (left) opened up on the angry phone call he had with Bob Arum when Anthony Joshua’s fight with Tyson Fury was called off
Hearn spent four months trying to get Joshua (above) a highly-anticipated fight with Fury
Joshua’s promoter Hearn spent four months working on the Joshua-Fury fight with opposite number Arum before it collapsed, with the Matchroom Boxing figure speaking furiously to the American lawyer about trying to sidestep the ruling.
Hearn told talkSPORT: ‘I actually called Bob Arum after the arbitration ruling, I said, “What on Earth has happened here?” He said, “Oh you won’t believe it, I can’t believe it, it’s just ridiculous, but we’re gonna do this fight.”
‘I said, “What are you talking about? I’ve just worked for four months to make this fight, financially it’s an unbelievable opportunity for both guys, it’s the undisputed heavyweight world championship, go and do something about it.” He said, “What can I do? Nothing.”
Fury (left) was told to have a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder (right) which postponed the bout
An announcement that the two-fight agreement between Joshua and Fury had first been made in the summer of 2020, but negotiations and talks about the fight dragged on for months, leaving both camps frustrated.
Morecambe-born boxer Fury even threatened to walk away from the fight in April of this year due to the long period of time it took for the fight to be arranged.
Just as the venue and final details were set to be announced, believed to be in a new Saudi Arabia stadium on August 14, the arbitration court ruled on May 17 that Fury must fight Wilder, unless a financial agreement was paid to the American boxer.
Hearn (left) had arranged for Joshua (right) to meet Fury on August 14 in Saudi Arabia
Hearn admitted there was nothing Arum or Fury’s team could do to prevent the third Wilder fight, but Joshua’s promoter has accused Fury’s US representative of using ‘old school greed’ to not seek a financial agreement with Wilder to sidestep the fight.
When asked whether Fury’s team tried to make a deal with Wilder, Hearn said: ‘That’s a question for them (Fury’s team) because they consistently told us and the Saudis that the arbitration was completely irrelevant.
‘There was no way that fight could be stopped, there was no way a rematch would be ordered. They expected there would be damages, but not that the arbitrator would rule the rematch. And that’s why the whole thing stinks, I don’t believe that arbitration ruling for one second is a standard arbitration ruling.
Hearn has accused Arum (left) of ‘old school greed’ regarding Fury’s (right) fight with Wilder
‘They had the opportunity to terminate the contract in December and Bob Arum chose not to, he carried on the conversations.
‘In the end the arbitrator looked at that and went, “You’ve kept them on the hook for too long.” Our world came crashing down, all the work we’ve put in for months. There was never one word of positivity from Frank Warren or Bob Arum in terms of making that fight.
‘And in the end I believe it just comes down to old school greed where the fact that Bob Arum was losing control of this fight, the fact all of a sudden that the deal was in place, he thought to himself, “I’ll keep Tyson Fury in America, I’ll do the fight myself on ESPN with Wilder.”‘
Joshua and Hearn are now focusing on a fight with Oleksandr Usyk (above) later this summer
The focus for Joshua and Hearn now turns to taking on Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk, with the Watford-born boxer’s promoter confirming that a deal is close.
He claimed: ‘We are quite close now to making a deal with Oleksandr Usyk. AJ’s over that initial disappointment of the Fury fight falling out.
‘He’s a very proud man, he loves to take on all challengers and the challenge of Usyk is a very dangerous one. It’s very likely you will see AJ vs Usyk at the back end of this summer.’