Joshua v Fury must happen in 2020 – Hearn

By Sports Desk March 02, 2020

Eddie Hearn said he is negotiating a blockbuster heavyweight showdown between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, insisting "the undisputed fight must happen in 2020".

Joshua will put his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO belts on the line against challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20, while WBC champion Fury is set to meet Deontay Wilder for a third bout in July.

Promoter Hearn is pushing for an all-British clash between Joshua and Fury in December.

"The great thing is that [Fury vs Wilder 3] is in July and we box in June," Hearn told Sky Sports News. "Now our intention, and conversations are ongoing, is to finalise the Fury vs Joshua fight for December of this year.

"There's no reason not to get that contracted now, subject to both guys winning in the summer."

"We had numerous conversations with Bob Arum at Top Rank over making Joshua vs Fury," said Hearn. "But we know that once Wilder exercised that rematch clause, that fight would be made. We understand Wilder wants to win his belt back.

"The proudness and ego of Wilder meant it was very unlikely. He's not stepping aside, he wants this rematch with Fury. The undisputed fight must happen in 2020."

"Joshua and Fury are certainly going to be boxing twice [or a] trilogy," Hearn added. "That's part of the deal that we are looking to do ASAP - a two-fight agreement with Fury and Arum at the end of this year then summer 2021.

"We must try and do that fight in the UK. Ask AJ and Fury where they would like it, and they would say the UK. We know there will be huge offers from around the world. Our priority is to try and make this fight in the UK.

"There will be two of these, maybe three, so certainly summer 2021 we'll get one in the UK. I would love to make the first one in the UK because we've got two British world champions who will fight for the undisputed title - this is never going to happen again. To do it in the UK would be very special."

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    Usyk - already sitting as the mandatory challenger to WBO champion Anthony Joshua - built his reputation in the pro game at cruiserweight, becoming the undisputed champion in the division. He has fought just once since opting to step up in weight, recording a seventh-round stoppage against Chazz Witherspoon over a year ago. 

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    "I'm fit and you are going to be very surprised at what happens in the ring."

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    The pair have already provided entertainment with their online interactions and pre-fight meetings - now expect fireworks when it gets down to the serious business.

    RECENT HISTORY

    Usyk has an unblemished 17-fight record in the pros following a distinguished amateur career.

    Tony Bellew promised to "get the monster" when he fought Usyk at cruiserweight in November 2018. Instead, he was stopped in the eighth, joining a notable list of names in the division to lose to the 33-year-old that also Murat Gassiev, Mairis Briedis and Marco Huck. 

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    TALE OF THE TAPE

    OLEKSANDR USYK

    Age: 33
    Height: 6ft 3ins (187cm)
    Weight: 15st 7lbs (220 pounds)
    Reach: 78ins 
    Professional record: 17-0 (13 KOs)
    Major career titles: IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO cruiserweight

    DERECK CHISORA

    Age: 36
    Height: 6ft 1½ins (187cm)
    Weight: 18st 3lbs (256 pounds)
    Reach: 74ins 
    Professional record: 32-9 (23 KOs)
    Major career titles: British, Commonwealth heavyweight

    THE UNDERCARD

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    WHAT THE FIGHTERS HAVE TO SAY...

    Usyk on moving to the heavyweight division: "If the king of animals would be considered according to the size, then it would be elephant, not the lion. An elephant is a friend of the mouse!"

    Chisora on the task he faces: "I need a fair referee. I want this fight to be fair. I don't want to be dancing or wrestling. I want both of us to work fairly. I have to keep marching forwards. He will try to wrong-foot me but I'm ready."

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    Anthony Joshua to Sky Sports on Usyk: "Sometimes I know to sit down on my feet and hurt someone. You've got to let them know that you're there because all that pitty-patty stuff after 12 rounds? Sometimes people don't respect that type of power."

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    Joshua puts his IBF, WBA and WBO titles on the line against Kubrat Pulev on December 12 and is set to face the first of a unifying double-header with Tyson Fury in 2021.

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    "Our plan is: A) beat Derek Chisora, B) push AJ to comply with WBO rules or vacate the title, C) defeat AJ or any other WBO champion or contender and become the heavyweight champion. Simple and practical," he said.

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