Tyson Fury is not the biggest draw in boxing, according to Eddie Hearn.
The Matchroom Boxing head honcho believes his man Anthony Joshua still holds that mantle.
Hearn will be ringside at the Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on August 20 when Joshua meets Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch for the unified heavyweight championships, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office.
And he remains loyal to his fighter, despite previously having had the opportunity to sign the current WBC champion.
In an interview with British GQ, Hearn said:
“Tyson Fury isn’t the biggest draw in boxing.
“AJ still is. But yes – he’s [Fury is] a huge star.
“I am loyal to AJ and I think Fury knew that when I was discussing signing him when he was 400lbs.”
Fury met Hearn in Monaco, prior to his return in July 2018, and had talked about potentially inking a deal with the man who, at the time, had the Sky Sports hype machine behind him.
Hearn and Fury failed to reach an agreement due to the fighter wanting to be paid plenty for small challenges in the early stages of his return from the mental health struggles he endured.
“He knew AJ would be my number one, and that would have been difficult. But you never know what could happen in the future.”
Joshua was dethroned by Usyk, the Ukrainian former undisputed cruiserweight champion, via a unanimous decision back in September last year at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London and in the process gave up his WBA Super, IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight titles.
But the man who recently played host at the 40th birthday party of Matchroom Sport is backing the Olympic gold medallist from London 2012 to regain his belts and become a three-time global ruler.
“There’s a lot of pressure in AJ’s world.”
“I feel like he’s lived in this bubble for a long time. AJ doesn’t go out, really. He trains. He goes back to one of his houses. He sees his mates, does a bit of motocross and plays a bit of FIFA. But that’s it.
“When you live in that world and you suffer defeat, it’s very lonely. Everyone turns on you. The adulation that you received from the public turns to ‘oh, you lost, mate, you ain’t actually that good, you’re useless.’
“I feel that he’s a very proud man. But I had several meetings with him almost immediately after [the defeat to Usyk] and he is one of those people who just wants to put it right.”