Joshua could give up belt to secure a showdown with Fury, claims Hearn

‘I only want him to win the undisputed title’: Anthony Joshua could give up his WBO belt to secure a Battle of Britain showdown with Tyson Fury, claims promoter Eddie Hearn

  • Fury and AJ have already agreed a two-fight deal for the undisputed title 
  • But Usyk will be mandatory challenger for WBO title if he beats Chisora
  • Hearn will do ‘everything’ to secure one Battle of Britain for all the belts

Eddie Hearn would be happy to sacrifice one of the world heavyweight titles if it meant Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could secure their mammoth double-header in 2021.

Fury and AJ have already agreed a skeleton two-fight deal for the undisputed title but the heavyweight waters will be muddied further this weekend if Oleksandr Usyk beats Derek Chisora to cement his place as the mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBO title.

Usyk and Chisora came face-to-face for a final press conference on Thursday ahead of Saturday night’s showdown at Wembley Arena. 

Anthony Joshua could give up the WBO title to secure a showdown with Tyson Fury

The ‘Gypsy King’ has already agreed a two-fight deal to take on the Watford-born star next year

The winner will be in pole position for a shot at AJ, who holds the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF titles. Fury is the WBC champion and promoter Hearn will do ‘everything’ to secure one Battle of Britain for all the belts.

But he said: ‘I would be willing to say, subject to speaking to Anthony and what Fury wants, that we would be willing to vacate the WBO title straight after that fight, to let Usyk fight for it. Because we’re going to do two fights (with Fury). So we’re tied up for 2021. We can’t fight Usyk unless we don’t make the Fury fight.

‘I only really want AJ to win the undisputed title. I’m not bothered about him defending it for the next 10 years. I just want to be able to say: “You’re the undisputed heavyweight world champion, you did it, you won everything.” After that, if we can set up a fight between Usyk and whoever’s No 2, we’ll do that.’ 

Hearn said he would allow Oleksandr Usyk (L) to fight for the title if it means setting up an undisputed fight with Fury

AJ shares Hearn’s ambition to secure all the belts against Fury. But first he must come through Kubrat Pulev in December.

‘If we had to fight Fury with a belt missing, we’d do it. But the whole aim has always been the undisputed. We sat down in the office and that was it. That’s why I say: once he wins It, I’m okay if we have to go into the second fight with one missing – who cares by then? We’ve already established who the best heavyweight in the world is. So the rematch tells you for sure.’ 

The colourful build-up to Usyk v Chisora continued at the press conference, when the Ukrainian came armed with hurling equipment – a gift from a young fan in Belfast.

When asked if he had the power to hurt bigger rivals, Usyk said: ‘Ask Tony Bellew.’

Bellew, knocked out by Usyk in 2018, was standing only a few feet away.




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