Eddie Hearn slams 'greedy' Usyk demands to step aside for Tyson Fury v Joshua

Eddie Hearn insists Oleksandr Usyk will not stand in the way of Anthony Joshua’s fight with Tyson Fury despite criticising the ‘greedy’ demands that have been suggested for him to step aside.

The two British heavyweights are locked in talks to stage an undisputed fight later this year, though Usyk is the WBO mandatory meaning Joshua may need to forfeit his belt if the Ukrainian refuses to relinquish his challenge.

Hearn hopes it will not come to that but insists AJ is prepared to forgo all his titles to secure a bout with Fury and has criticised Usyk’s team for their unrealistic demands.

Speaking to Boxing Social, Hearn explained: ‘I think it’s a situation where… this isn’t really a dig at any of his team but some people just have the idea that he should be getting millions of dollars to step aside for this fight.

‘Really what will happen is, we will apply to the WBO for the undisputed fight and if they say, “No, you need to talk to Oleksandr Usyk” we will go to Oleksandr Usyk and we will try to make him happy to allow that fight to go on.

‘It’s like: do you really want to stop this fight from happening? Now you have to be respected because you’re in the mandatory position, but there is a solution.

‘As I’ve said before, this fight between Fury and AJ will happen with all the belts or not one belt at all. But the problem is, when there’s a big fight like this, everyone wants… I’ve got to get my words right here. The greed is unbelievable.

‘It’s going to come down to the fighters. The fighters are paying millions of dollars in sanction fees. I heard someone say Usyk wants a percentage of AJ and Fury’s purse to step-aside and I was like, “Mate!”.

‘But there is a solution, and if everyone’s smart together we can find a solution. And I really want it to be undisputed, because that’s always been the dream for AJ and we’ll do everything we can.

‘But we’re not going to be held to ransom by anyone. And if we lose one belt we’ll probably vacate them all and say, “This is boxing now”. But if everyone is sensible, and we’ll be fair in return, hopefully we can find a solution.’

On how talks with Fury’s camp are progressing, Hearn added: ‘It’s progressing well. Probably had a dozen conversations over the last couple of weeks. We are at the stage of drafting agreements now. We know that we’ve always agreed the terms for that fight, which is two fights, we know the splits.

‘Part of where I’ve been the last couple of weeks is going around trying to find out where we can stage major events. If we’re going to be doing that fight end of May or early June – which we will be – can you tell me that we can do 100,000 at Wembley? Probably not. So where will put the money up for that fight? And that’s really now what I’ve been doing, and Bob [Arum] is looking at his partners as well.

‘But I don’t see anything getting in the way of that fight. Josh has been training since the Pulev fight to be honest with you and I think Tyson has been doing the same. In their heads, every day they wake up and they’re thinking about each other, and thinking: “That’s my next fight”. And barring a disaster, it will be.’

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