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Arum and Hearn Blame One Another for Death of Fury vs. Joshua

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The one apparent truth when it comes to the Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua “Battle of Britain” heavyweight clash is that it probably ain’t happening, not on the proposed December 3 fight date, anyway.

Another reality in this mess is that both sides are totally blaming the other side for the fight not happening.

Fury co-promoter Bob Arum blames Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn for stalling and sandbagging negotiations for the now twice-canceled super fight. Hearn, meanwhile, blames Fury’s team for being disingenuous all throughout the supposed negotiations and not really wanting the fight.

“Eddie Hearn is stalling everything, because he doesn’t want the fight to happen,” Arum told Talk Sport. “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.

“I don’t know of any issues, he sends a draft and then [Fury’s co-promoters along with Arum] Frank and George [Warren] 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. 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.

“You can’t make a fight unless somebody agrees to the contract and if you put him in a torture chamber, he still wouldn’t agree to the contract. There’s no issues, if there was some issues then I could see it but there are no issues. Get in the goddamn room with the Warrens and sit down and finalize the contract and let’s get it signed. I don’t blame Tyson Fury for getting upset at what is happening.”

Hearn, of course, has a totally different take on the matter.

“People talk about putting up barriers, we sent our final draft contract back to sign,” Hearn said via his Matchroom Boxing YouTube channel. “They want to appoint their partner as an arbitrator, that sort of stuff doesn’t work.

“We get another one [deadline], Tyson Fury says, ‘We’re telling you now, the fight is off unless you sign [today].’

“That deadline passed, I’ve not heard back from George Warren since. So as far as we’re concerned, the fight’s off. We’re happy to continue the discussions, we haven’t had any of those discussions.

“They gave us terms ultimately in a date they thought we wouldn’t accept. We did accept that. We were ready to go. If they would have signed the contract on Monday, they had a fight.

“We were asked to agree [to] the deal by Monday, then we were asked to agree by Wednesday. We got their comments back on Wednesday. We were never gonna sign the fight, and we told them the fight is off.

“So, it’s still there. It’s still open for discussions. But we’re not gonna play a game with a bloke that’s just coming out telling AJ it’s off and then he’s a dosser and he’s gotta sign it etc.

“Have your fight if you wanna fight someone else and we’ll do our thing, and we’ll see what happens.”

No matter who’s side you take in this back-and-forth, the reality is that this fight isn’t likely to happen any time soon and, as usual, the fans are the ultimate losers.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com