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Eddie Hearn doubts Tyson Fury’s retirement talk and insists Gypsy King wants to fight Anthony Joshua

Eddie Hearn hopes Tyson Fury ‘will be tempted’ out of his latest retirement by a huge fight with Anthony Joshua to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion if AJ can win back his belts against Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia

  • Eddie Hearn is adamant that Tyson Fury will want to take on Anthony Joshua
  • Hearn has expressed doubts regarding Fury’s talk of retiring from boxing 
  • Fury has been given six days after Usyk v Joshua II to confirm that he is retiring

If Anthony Joshua needs a confidence booster for his desert rematch against Olexsandr Usyk – and his recent musings suggest he might – then who more ebullient to provide that than Eddie Hearn.

Joshua’s Matchroom promoter is never backward in coming forward for his fighters and as he embarked for Saudi Arabia with doubts swirling around his poster boy’s prospects of regaining his world heavyweight titles here on Saturday night he was as positive as ever.

‘I’m expecting AJ to knock him out around the sixth round,’ Hearn proclaimed. ‘He knows this will be another tough fight but he also knows he has to be much aggressive this time and use his big physical advantages.’

Eddie Hearn is adamant that Tyson Fury would relish the chance to take on Anthony Joshua

Eddie Hearn is adamant that Tyson Fury would relish the chance to take on Anthony Joshua 

On the assumption that he is correct there was more, much more to come.

Unconvinced by Tyson Fury’s latest affirmation of retirement, which came on the Gypsy King’s 34th birthday, Hearn said: ‘I’m sure Tyson will be tempted by the huge fight with AJ for which we’ve all been waiting so long, the millions it will make them and the chance to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion.’

Probably true, since the $50 million purses reportedly being banked by Fury and Usyk this weekend would be dwarfed by the Saudi promoters for Fury v Joshua. Probably as soon as this December.

Hearn believes Fury will be tempted by the chance to become undisputed world champion

Hearn believes Fury will be tempted by the chance to become undisputed world champion

The WBC have given Fury until six days after Usyk v Jushua 11 to reconfirm that he is hanging up the gloves before they declare vacant their heavyweight title.

Fury has relinquished his Ring Magazine belt – which will be added to the WBA, IBF and WBO prizes at stake in Jeddah – but is keeping the WBC waiting until the outcome here is known.

Hearn’s belief is this: ‘While Tyson might not want anything to do with Usyk, he will want to fight AJ.’

Hearn says Joshua is now in much better frame of mind as he prepares to face Oleksandr Usyk

Hearn says Joshua is now in much better frame of mind as he prepares to face Oleksandr Usyk

First things first, at the witching hour in Saudi on Saturday night. Usyk produced a master class to unravel Joshua on that September night in London. Since taking leave from the front line of Ukraine’s war with Russia, he has trained manically to build more muscle on the body which won him the undisputed world cruiserweight championship.

The WBC have given Fury until six days after Usyk v Joshua II to confirm that he is retiring

 The WBC have given Fury until six days after Usyk v Joshua II to confirm that he is retiring

During the process of moving up to the heavyweight division Usyk made hard work of Dereck Chisora, in which Hearn discerns hope: ‘Olexsandr looked petrified at the start of that fight,’ he says. ‘AJ is so much stronger and faster than Chisora and Usyk won’t fancy being backed up by him for three or four rounds.

‘He will try to start fast, take control from the middle of the ring and maintain a high pace. But that won’t be easy so long AJ lets his hands fly this time and is much more physical.’

Joshua admits he made a catastrophic mistake by trying to outbox a technical genius 11 months ago and Hearn says: ‘He’s in a much better frame of mind now.’

Usyk has been sparring with Eastern Europe giants who tower even taller over him than Joshua

Usyk has been sparring with Eastern Europe giants who tower even taller over him than Joshua

He will need to be. Usyk has been sparring with Eastern Europe giants who tower even taller over him than Joshua. And dropping them like flies. His camp believe it will be their man going for the knock-out, which he was on the brink of landing in the closing seconds of the first fight.

Joshua has one other powerful motivation for denying that ambition. A second consecutive defeat by Usyk – meaning three losses in five fights – would raise concerns for his future in the hardest game.

Hearn says: ‘Even if he does lose here I’m sure he will still fight Tyson next.’ That prediction may become the most ambitious.

Usyk v Joshua for the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight tiles will be televised live this Saturday night on Sky Sports Box Office.

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