Anthony Joshua has reacted to the news that the Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk negotiations have officially collapsed.
Fury and Usyk were set to meet next month to crown the king of the division, and the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis.
To the surprise of most, the Ukrainian accepted a 30% ‘take it or leave it’ purse split offer from ‘The Gypsy King’ and a fight announcement seemed imminent. However, that confirmation never came, and disagreements over rematch financials led to both parties admitting the deal was dead.
Joshua had his own negotiations with Fury last year, and for a moment at least it looked like the fans might get to see the all-British heavyweight clash they’d been calling for. Those talks also failed as time ran out and the WBC champion went on to face Derek Chisora for a third time in his career.
In a media scrum for his comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin, Joshua joked that at least the finger wasn’t pointing his way – or at his promoter – for once.
“I’m just happy Eddie Hearn ain’t got the blame for something that don’t involve him.
Eddie always gets the blame for everything, and I do. I’m just glad Eddie ain’t getting the blame for something for once.”
When the negotiations between the two Brits failed last year, some pundits and members or Fury’s team claimed that Hearn didn’t want the fight to happen.
With Fury no longer fighting Usyk, momentum has started to build again for Joshua to fill the gap, assuming he can get past Franklin.
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, has stated he has ‘no problem’ making the fight with AJ and Hearn says everyone involved should be ‘kicking and screaming’ to get it over the line.
Joshua returns to the ring this Saturday in a make-or-break clash against Franklin, available to stream exclusively on DAZN.