Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said his fighter lost a little bit of faith in the sport following prolonged, public, and ultimately pointless negotiations for a fight with Tyson Fury.
Following his two decision losses to Oleksandr Usyk, a shot at Fury’s WBC title seemed further away than ever for ‘AJ’. That changed dramatically when the champion called him out via social media and, to the surprise of many, he accepted. What followed was weeks of will-they-won’t-they, with fans almost waiting for the stumbling block in talks that was just too big to get over.
Whilst we don’t know exactly what that was, talks did fall apart. It seems that the final days of negotiations weren’t helped by Fury imposing constant deadlines to the other side to sign the contract. Eddie Hearn told Boxing Social that the whole process was the reason Joshua, who has been vocal about wanting to remain active, won’t be out again in 2022.
“He just sort of lost faith a little bit with boxing because he really wanted to fight Tyson Fury. That’s the main reason that he didn’t fight this year. He was just pissed off. You know, he [Fury] got his bluff called really, we feel.
‘What are these people doing? They say they want to fight me, now I’ve got a deadline, Chisora gets another month to do the deal, and I had to sign it then’
So, that’s why you’re going to see him [AJ] fight maybe the end of February, but probably March.”
Since Fury’s December 3 date has been gifted to Derek Chisora, Joshua once again finds himself looking for an opponent. With plenty of options, it looks like the final decision will come to just how much the former champion wants to test himself given the results of his last two outings.
As for the Fury fight, it’s something British fans will always hope for – but it’s unclear just how damaging the failed talks will be the any future attempts to make it happen.