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Joshua may vacate his WBO title, says Hearn

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua won’t be told what to do by the governing bodies in being ordered to fight particular fighters such as Oleksander Usyk, reports


Fury’s camp didn’t want unification fight’

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua won’t be told what to do by the governing bodies in being ordered to fight particular fighters such as Oleksander Usyk, reports

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn says Joshua may take the fight with Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs), but he also may vacate the WBO belt if it doesn’t make “business sense” for them.

Hearn has a couple of other options that he’s looking at for Joshua’s next fight.

Presumably, those are bigger money fights than what Usyk brings to the table. Usyk isn’t someone who will attract a lot of excitement from the fans, as he’s not done anything at heavyweight to make a name for himself.

Hearn and Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) are still steaming about losing out on the Tyson Fury undisputed championship fight, and the last thing they want is for a sanctioning body to order them around.

“We negotiate all the time with people who sometimes aren’t entitled to a fight, and we got it again now,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social. “The WBO straightaway sent a little in, ‘You’re now fighting him.’

“At some point, you want to turn around and say, ‘You know what? Why can’t we just breathe and do our own thing, but of course, he [Joshua] wants to be undisputed, and that’s why we’re considering our options.

“I think the most likely scenario is, we fight Oleksander Usyk. If the deal is right and everyone is sensible, yes, I think that fight happens.

“But I’ll tell you something right now. AJ is not in the mood, nor am I to be told what to do by governing bodies right now. There is no guarantee for an undisputed fight right now.

“What are we holding onto a belt right now for? Promises, dreams, whatever. But he [Joshua] respects his belts, and he wants to honor his belts, and he’s done that for the last four years. So that’s the likely scenario,” said Hearn.
Meanwhile, Anthony Joshua is convinced Tyson Fury’s team never believed promoter Eddie Hearn would secure their £150 million undisputed fight – and set him up as a scapegoat, according to

Joshua and Fury had agreed on a deal to fight in Saudi Arabia on August 14, but when Deontay Wilder’s arbitration case ruled in favour of a Fury-Wilder trilogy fight, they both had to pursue other opponents.

Now Joshua is expected to fight his mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk towards the end of the summer with Fury’s trilogy with Wilder pencilled in for July 24 in Las Vegas.

And Hearn revealed Joshua’s reaction when he broke the news.

“These people just expected you to fail,” he told Behind the Gloves. “They wanted you to fail and they didn’t think you could pull it off but you did.

“They were going to use you as a scapegoat, say ‘Matchroom couldn’t deliver it and move on, but we did deliver it and Tyson Fury came out and announced the fight.

“You can see by the internet responses that you’ve got to be quite thick if you can’t realise there’s one team that one team was trying to make this fight happen and one team that wasn’t.”

Joshua, aside from engaging in a very public war of words on Twitter with Fury, has remained relatively quiet since the fight was cancelled last week.

But Hearn has been vocal in his unhappiness with Team Fury’s handling of the event, which would have been the biggest fight of either man’s careers.

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