Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn has never been afraid to stir the pot when it comes to the fights of other/rival promoters, and the British promoter says he’s very skeptical of the proposed Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch coming off as tentatively slated for Feb. 22, 2020.
“I don’t see how the February fight with Fury can happen. To be honest with you, I think the whole world is looking at Joshua-Ruiz, and I don’t think anything will happen until that fight takes place, because you’ve got Joshua, Ruiz who’s with the PBC and Al Haymon, so is Deontay Wilder.
”If Ruiz beats Joshua, they’ll be looking to make that fight, an undisputed fight, but obviously if Joshua wins, that throws everything out and who can rule out Joshua against Tyson Fury at Wembley next summer?”
Wilder still has his Nov. 23 rematch with Luis Ortiz to get through, too, which he’ll be favored to do, but it’s no gimme. And then there’s actually getting the deal done between FOX/PBC and ESPN/Top Rank for a pay-per-view event. That’s not easy — Bob Arum says the deal is done, but Bob Arum says lots of things. I’m not saying he’s exaggerating or lying, I’m just not counting out the possibility. I’m sure he’d understand.
This is something I’ve thought about, too, honestly, and I’m sure many of you have, as well. If Ruiz beats Joshua again on Dec. 7 in Saudi Arabia, then PBC is sitting on the potential for a big undisputed heavyweight championship fight. They’ve got both Wilder and Ruiz, that should be an easy enough fight to make. Sanctioning bodies could interfere swiftly by trying to enforce various Ruiz mandatories, but they might all be willing to play ball for an all-PBC full unification of the division. Everyone would stand to make a lot of money.
Now, if Joshua beats Ruiz, then sure, Wilder-Fury II is the fight to make. Wilder and Fury are both undamaged goods, whereas Joshua has a recent loss and he and his team a history of contentious negotiations with the Wilder side. (I know Ruiz has a loss, too, but basically nobody has seen that fight, so it essentially just doesn’t matter.)
I’m with Big Ed here, at least insofar as not counting the chickens before they hatch and all that. There’s a lot of money with the top heavyweights right now, and a lot of potential roadblocks for this fight or that.
But it could also just be Hearn talking to talk. He does like to talk.