Eddie Hearn, the Chairman of Matchroom Sport and a British sports promoter, has revealed that Anthony Joshua wants at least £40 million to allow Tyson Fury to fight Oleksandr Usyk next year for all the heavyweight boxing belts.
AJ was comprehensively outboxed by Usyk back in September, despite going into the contest as a strong favorite. In his interview after the fight, he seemed adamant that he would use his rematch clause and get his revenge in 2022.
However, it now looks like AJ has had a change of heart and is willing to back out of the fight for the right amount of money.
Since his outstanding victory against Deontay Wilder in October, Fury has shown little interest in fighting his WBC mandatory challenger, Dillian Whyte.
Instead, he wants to beat Usyk first and then defend his belts against Joshua in an all-British superfight.
“If Joshua goes in again and loses, which I think he will, that fight’s dead in the water for me. But if he lets me fight Usyk and I batter Usyk, then I’d come back and batter him as well,” Fury said.
Usyk is also fond of facing Fury next and Hearn believes it is possible if an astronomical fee is paid to Joshua.
“Seven figures? A million? If you want to get him not to fight Oleksandr Usyk you have to times that by 40,” the promoter said during an interview with Boxing King Media.
Indeed, negotiations between Joshua and Usyk’s team are ongoing and there is a serious possibility we could have an undisputed world heavyweight champion in 2022.
“At the moment there is communication between the two teams to say is it something… and the answer is AJ has not been spoken to about this yet. If there’s a route and an offer and it makes sense then we’ll see but right now, it’s just conversations between the camps,” he said.
There is still no date confirmed for the Joshua-Usyk rematch and time is running out if their second fight is meant to take place in early spring.
“At the moment, Anthony Joshua is fighting Oleksandr Usyk and that’s the situation,” Hearn added.
On the other hand, AJ hasn’t received a formal offer to step aside, so it is all just speculation.
Similar to AJ’s recent interview with iFLTV, mixed messages are coming from his camp.
One source from the camp claims they are focused on the rematch, yet at the same time, they would consider an offer.
“Yes, we would consider one, we’re not a closed book and we’ll never be a closed book, but right now we’re planning for the rematch.
“We’ll listen to the offer if one is made and we will put our recommendations and suggestions to Joshua – as will Eddie Hearn – and then make the best decision for Anthony,” a source in AJ’s camp said.
It will be critical for both teams to decide on this high-stakes situation in the coming weeks.