Bob Arum says Eddie Hearn is purposefully ‘stalling’ contract negotiations for Anthony Joshua’s Battle of Britain clash with Tyson Fury as he ‘doesn’t want’ the fight to take place.
Speaking to TalkSPORT, Arum said: ‘Eddie Hearn is stalling everything because he doesn’t want the fight to happen. ‘And why doesn’t he want the fight to happen? Because Joshua’s lost three out of his last five fights and he figures to lose again if he fights Tyson Fury and so Eddie is in effect being an impediment.
Negotiations over the highly-anticipated bout in December have been ongoing for the past month, with both sides blaming the other’s camp for the hold-up. Arum says Hearn is concerned about how another loss could impact AJ’s career and has subsequently stalled negotiations in the hope the proposed Battle of Britain will ‘die’.
‘I don’t know of any issues, he sends a draft and then Frank and George reply and then we don’t hear from Eddie for days, he’s stalling until it dies of its own volition. ‘I don’t think Joshua is part of that. I think Joshua for whatever reason wants the fight to happen, I know Tyson Fury does. But, Eddie doesn’t and so Eddie is doing whatever he can to prevent the fight from happening.
Arum is not the only one to suggest Hearn was blocking the fight. Fury’s father, John, said the British promoter was trying to ‘protect’ his Golden Boy. He told Sportsmail: ‘It’s not going to happen this year I don’t think. No, it’s very doubtful. We’d have it tomorrow. We’ve been dogging AJ and his team like you won’t believe for this fight, you know. You just don’t want it. They just don’t want it.
‘From Eddie’s standpoint, he believes he has a valuable asset in Joshua who has now lost three out of five fights and figures to lose again, which could make it four out of six and it would make him a lot less valuable after the event, so he’s trying to prevent it from happening.’
‘Twelve months or two years back and forth, like they did with Deontay Wilder. We don’t want that. Tyson’s capped it off and put a deadline on it as he wants it signed up. He wants to get in camp, and then get it under way. Get the fight on and give the fans what they want. We aren’t interested in back and fros.’
‘I think Joshua’s sort of like getting doubts about fighting the Gypsy King. You know they’ve had that contract now, for well over a month. Nothing’s happened. But what they want, you see, is a to and fro for next two years or twelve months.
However, the Gypsy King has been getting frustrated with how long it is taking to confirm the deal. As a result, he took to social media twice in four days to call the fight off. However, both parties are still negotiating behind closed doors.
As it stands, Joshua and Fury are still negotiating over December’s Battle of Britain bout. The two British promoters involved in finalising the deal – Hearn and Frank Warren – have said negotiations are heading in the right direction.