In an video interview with iFL TV, Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn breaks down his view of the heavyweight landscape and all of the conflicting reports on which of the top fighters will realistically be fighting next. Hearn says from his vantage point it’s clear that Tyson Fury isn’t inclined to fight Oleksandr Usyk for undisputed status and he’s therefore preparing a purse bid for Tyson Fury vs Dillian Whyte, which he fully expects to come off tomorrow.
Hearn on the situation between heavyweights Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk and Dillian Whyte
“It’s a very confusing, I would say triangle but there’s four of them...Tyson Fury’s a walking contradiction. One minute he says ‘you’re a coward, you’re stepping aside’ (as a reference to Joshua) and the next minute he goes ‘you’re the worst businessman in the world, you’ve lost $90M’ (in a supposed step aside deal).
“The reality of the situation is we would be willing to see a long form agreement with a plan for AJ — we’re not even at that stage. Tyson Fury had the opportunity to discuss — Fury don’t want to fight Usyk, in my opinion, because he has the opportunity to do it through these discussions and really when it came down to it, he really don’t want it. What Fury wants to do is have a little easy one in March, that’s what he really wants to do. Now he’s gonna have to fight Dillian Whyte, and by the way, after all this kerfuffle he’ll get beat by Dillian Whyte, he’ll get knocked out by Dillian Whyte.
“But the reality is when it really came down to it, he never wanted to fight Oleksandr Usyk because he could’ve went straight into fight with Oleksandr Usyk. But he didn’t want to go straight into a fight with Oleksandr Usyk. But you won’t ever hear that and the public won’t ever hear that. They’ll just hear him on Instagram screaming and shouting and smoke and mirrors.
“So like right now there’s a purse bid tomorrow. I’m very confident, and all the other times I’ve said I think it’ll be delayed, I’m very confident there will be a bid tomorrow for Fury against Whyte. And I believe that’s the fight that will happen next.”
On if he believes a Fury-Usyk fight is now off the table
“I don’t believe it’s off the table because people are still discussing it — that’s not a deal that I’ve necessarily put together. We have been approached with a plan — from my point of view I’m saying I’d be willing to see a long form agreement to look at some kind of plan that would give AJ the opportunity to fight a winner of Fury against Usyk for the best heavyweight in the world tag. But the reality is that Tyson Fury has decided really that he doesn’t want to fight Usyk next. Whether he tells you that or not, that is the truth. He was not willing to fight Usyk next for undisputed, because he wanted a fight first in March against someone else. Now he wants to fight Dillian Whyte.”
On how close Joshua has been to accepting a step aside deal for Fury-Usyk
“It’s more than a step aside money, it’s the plans to fight the best heavyweight in the world. If he fights Usyk in May and wins, would you say he’s the best heavyweight in the world?! You’d say no because you’d think that Tyson Fury was, right? But if he fights the winner of Usyk against Fury and beats him, would you say he’s the best heavyweight in the world?! Yes you would.
“(A potential step aside) is a way for him to find out, no questions asked, who’s the best heavyweight in the world. So were we willing to see a long form contract to see if there was a model that made sense — yes. But, again, it’s like Fury would have to fight Usyk...when it comes down to it, (Fury) don’t fancy it...so the whole thing is kind of irrelevant.”