Eddie Hearn has suggested that Anthony Joshua could vacate his WBO belt as there is “no guarantee” that he will have an undisputed title fight against Tyson Fury.
The planned undisputed heavyweight title fight between Joshua and Fury fell apart after a US judge ruled that Deontay Wilder was entitled to fight Fury for a third time before September 15.
As a result, the WBO ordered that Joshua would have to fight Ukranian challenger Oleksandr Usyk next or vacate his title, but Hearn told Boxing Social that ‘AJ’ was in no mood to be told what to do by the governing bodies.
COULD JOSHUA VACATE? 👑
— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) May 28, 2021
“We negotiate all the time with people who sometimes aren’t entitled to a fight, and we got it again now. The WBO straightaway sent a little in, ‘You’re now fighting [Usyk]’,” Hearn said.
“At some point, you want to turn around and say, ‘You know what? Why can’t we just breathe and do our own thing?’ But of course, he [Joshua] wants to be undisputed, and that’s why we’re considering our options.
“I think the most likely scenario is, we fight Oleksander Usyk. If the deal is right and every one is sensible, yes, I think that fight happens.”
‘What are we holding onto a belt right now for?’
While Hearn believes Usyk is Joshua’s most likely opponent for his next bout, the boxing promoter pointed out that vacating a belt would have less significance if a fight with Fury cannot be made.
“I’ll tell you something right now. AJ is not in the mood, nor am I to be told what to do by governing bodies right now. There is no guarantee for an undisputed fight right now,” Hearn commented.
“What are we holding onto a belt right now for? Promises, dreams, whatever. But he respects his belts, and he wants to honour his belts, and he’s done that for the last four years. So that’s the likely scenario”