By Barry Holbrook: Eddie Hearn reacted in amazement on Friday in discussing Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s comments about the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight being “Dead in the water” for July or August.
Hearn says he’s not certain whether Arum has “lost the plot,” but he thinks he’s showing “irrational behavior” at this point in talking the way he is about the match.
According to Hearn, Arum hasn’t spoken to him to find out what the status is in the Saudi site deal that he’s working on with the lawyers to get it done. But he remains confident that it will get done shortly, and that’s why he’s mystified about Arum’s negative view of the Joshua-Fury Saudi deal.
Hearn says that if Arum has Fury pull out of the fight to face Deontay Wilder, he’ll make one-quarter of the money that he’d get by facing Joshua (24-1, 21 KOs).
Arum believes that the Saudi deal will take many months to get done, and he wants to get his fighter WBC champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) back in the ring, as he hasn’t fought since February 2020.
A fight between Fury and former WBC champion Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) would be relatively a straightforward fight to get made, unlike the Joshua match, which requires that it take place overseas.
“Over the space of five hours, the [Joshua vs. Fury] fight was ‘Dead in the waters’ without having any conversation with anybody, it’s amazing,” said Eddie Hearn to Behind The Gloves about Bob Arum’s comments on the Joshua-Fury fight not happening.
“All I can say about it is, Bob has completely lost the plot, basically,” Hearn continued. “Four days ago, it was done. We gave everybody the information on the deal. Then yesterday, he [Arum] said, ‘It’s in doubt, I wouldn’t bet on it happening.’ Then six or seven hours later, after he’d seen all my interviews, he gave an interview saying it was ‘dead in the water.’
“He didn’t have one conversation during that period of time, he just decided to himself that it was dead in the water. It’s irrational behavior, he’s extremely fickle. Listen, he’s lost his mind here. Is he out of control? I don’t know.
“All I can say is, Tyson Fury, his lawyers, we’re all on track. 18 hours ago, it was ‘Eddie’s running out of time,’ and then 12 hours ago, it was ‘The fight is dead in the water.’ We haven’t even spoke.
“So you want to walk away from this fight, the biggest of your client’s [Fury] career, the biggest in boxing, to fight a fight [against Deontay Wilder] for a quarter of the money in a fight that no one wants to see?” said Hearn in discussing the potential of Fury facing Wilder next rather than Joshua.
Either Arum has lost his patience for the way the Joshua-Fury fight negotiations have dragged out or he sees the need for a tune-up for Fury as essential.
What Hearn may be overlooking is the fact that Arum met with the mediator on Tuesday to talk about Fury’s mediation with Deontay Wilder.
Fury had a contract with Wilder to give him a rematch following their fight last year and for whatever reason, he chose not to fight him. If the mediator told Arum some bad news about what it cost Fury if he doesn’t face Wilder next, that would help explain why he’s willing to pull out of the Joshua fight.