News | Jan 04 2019

If not Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder, who are the contenders to fight Anthony Joshua next

Matchroom's Barry Hearn reckons Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will be making a mistake if they leave it too long to make Anthony Joshua fight
Wilder
Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury  |  Esther Lin/Showtime

ANTHONY JOSHUA’S next fight is unlikely to be Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury.

Barry Hearn, head of Matchroom Sports, expects Wilder to rematch Fury. He insists that Matchroom Boxing, which promotes Joshua and is run by his son Eddie, wants Wilder or Fury for Joshua. But is not hopeful that either will be next.

“Tyson Fury can box but he can’t punch, Deontay Wilder can punch but he can’t box, AJ can punch and he can box. So if I’m looking at protecting my man, making sure he earns the most amount of money with the least amount of risk, I’d take either of those two fights in a heartbeat,” Hearn told Love Sport Radio. “But being the cynical old git that I am, I don’t think they’re going to be knocking our door down because I think they work it out [as] ‘look we can fight each other, we both think we’re going to win (and either of them could win) and then we can fight Joshua for even more money’.

“So you tend to put it off. It’s like Amir Khan and Kell Brook, they always think they can go back to that fight later after they’ve milked the system and actually life doesn’t work like that, sometimes you miss a bus because it’s pulled away from the curb. So Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is a great fight, I believe that will probably happen, one way or the other, if in the meantime, either of them phones up Eddie, we would sign either of them in a heartbeat. We’re running a business, Joshua is the world champion, undisputed number one, he’s the only real champion out there, unblemished records, holds four belts so no problem but we run a business so who’s next?”

Tyson Fury

He speculated, “If those two are not coming to the party quickly I would imagine that Eddie is looking at Jarrell Miller in New York as a Madison Square Garden debut for AJ would be commercially very solid, and then Dillian Whyte, who I think is pound for pound the most dangerous heavyweight out there. If I was ranking them in danger, I would say that Deontay Wilder is the easiest fight, I think Jarrell Miller is an unknown fight because we don’t know how good he is, he’s a big lump. I think Tyson Fury is a tricky fight but when you hit him he does tend to fall over although to his credit he gets up again which is remarkable and I’ve got the greatest respect for him for what’s he’s done, pulled himself together from the brink, brilliant story, and the most dangerous is Dillian Whyte. So that’s where we’re up to and if you asked me to pick one I couldn’t honestly tell you. And I’m so glad I’m not in professional boxing anymore because you wouldn’t sleep at night.”

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