Eddie Hearn reveals how ‘the world came crashing down’ and Bob called Arum when Joshua and Fury’s fight collapsed
Eddie Hearn has opened an angry phone call with Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum after the Gypsy King’s fight with Anthony Joshua fell apart.
The two British boxing icons were set to meet in mid-August in a highly anticipated reunion, the first of two fights to determine the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
But an arbitration court ruled that Fury will face Deontay Wilder in a trilogy fight this summer, delaying Britain’s all-star fight with Joshua and now preparing to face Oleksandr Usyk later in the summer.
Eddie Hearn (left) opened 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 land Joshua (above) in a much-anticipated fight with Fury
Joshua’s promoter Hearn spent four months working on the Joshua-Fury fight with counterpart Arum before it collapsed, with the Matchroom Boxing figure furiously speaking to the US attorney about trying to circumvent the ruling.
Hearn told talkSPORT: ‘I actually called Bob Arum after the arbitration ruling, I said, ‘What the hell happened here?’ He said, “Oh, you won’t believe it, I can’t believe it, it’s just ridiculous, but we’re going into this fight.”
“I said, ‘What are you talking about? I just worked four months to make this fight, financially it’s an incredible opportunity for both guys, it’s the undisputed world heavyweight championship, go do something about it.” He said, “What can I do? Nothing.”
Fury (left) was told to hold a trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder (right), which delayed the fight
An announcement that the two-fight deal between Joshua and Fury was first made in the summer of 2020, but negotiations and talks over the fight dragged on for months, leaving both sides frustrated.
Morecambe-born boxer Fury even threatened to walk away from the fight in April this year due to the length of time it took to settle the fight.
Just as the venue and final details were to be announced, believed to be on August 14 at a new stadium in Saudi Arabia, the arbitration court ruled on May 17 that Fury must fight Wilder unless a financial deal is paid to the American boxer.
Hearn (left) had arranged for Joshua (right) to meet Fury on August 14 in Saudi Arabia
Hearn admitted that Arum or Fury’s team couldn’t do anything to prevent the third Wilder fight, but Joshua’s promoter has accused Fury’s US representative of using “old-fashioned greed” not to seek a financial deal with Wilder to sidestep the fight.
When asked if 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 the fight could be stopped, there was no way to order a rematch. They expected there to be damage, but not for the arbiter to decide the rematch. And that’s why it all stinks, I don’t believe that a one-second arbitration ruling is a standard arbitration ruling.
Hearn has accused Arum (left) of ‘old school greed’ regarding Fury’s (right) fight with Wilder
“They had the option to cancel the contract in December and Bob Arum chose not to, he continued the talks.
“In the end the arbiter looked at that and said, ‘You’ve been trolling them too long.’ Our world came crashing down, all the work we put in for months. There was never a 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 lost control of this fight, the fact that the deal was all of a sudden done, he thought to himself, ‘I’ll hold Tyson Fury in America, I’m fighting with Wilder on ESPN myself.”‘
Joshua and Hearn are now targeting a fight with Oleksandr Usyk (above) later this summer
The focus for Joshua and Hearn is now on taking on Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk, with the Watford-born boxer’s promoter confirming a deal is close.
He claimed: ‘We are now very close to making a deal with Oleksandr Usyk. AJ is over that initial disappointment of the Fury fight falling out.
“He is a very proud man, he likes to take on all challengers and Usyk’s challenge is a very dangerous one. It is very likely that you will see AJ vs Usyk at the end of this summer.”