Eddie Hearn expects Tyson Fury to fight Derek Chisora for a third time in his comeback fight this December.
Undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Fury ended his short-lived retirement after beating Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April, with a trilogy bout against Chisora – who he comfortably beat in 2011 and 2014 – first mooted in August.
After another retirement and another reversal, Fury then called out Anthony Joshua following his fellow Briton’s second defeat to Oleksandr Usyk, the WBA, WBO and IBF champion.
Despite Hearn’s Matchroom, on behalf of Joshua, and Queensbury Promotions, who represent Fury, enjoying productive talks, the fight was shelved after Fury twice set deadlines for Joshua to sign a contract which were not practical to meet.
It means Chisora, who claimed a revenge win over Kubrat Pulev last time out, is now back in line for another tilt at the ‘Gypsy King’ and a fight date of December 3 could be confirmed as early as this week.
“He’s been negotiating with Derek Chisora for three weeks,” Hearn, who also represents Chisora, told The Sporting News. “There’s no deadline on Derek Chisora, so why was there on Anthony Joshua?
“Chisora has been made an offer, which he’s negotiating. I think that will be the fight that happens on December 3.”
It’s fair to assume there will be considerably less clamour from boxing fans than would have been the case if Joshua had met Fury on the same day.
Hearn takes consolation that previously frosty relations with Frank Warren’s Queensbury promotions thawed during the negotiations, but the most desirable fight in British boxing remained elusive.
That is something that Hearn blames, in part, upon Fury’s erratic behaviour.
“Tyson Fury is the master of deception. Three weeks ago he gave us a deadline, saying ‘I have to know my opponent by today’. He still has no opponent, so why were we put on the clock? Why were we put on a deadline?” he asked.
“I feel like Tyson Fury called AJ’s bluff. He felt like he was down a bit after his defeat to Usyk, probably felt like it was a good way to say he tried to fight Joshua but now he has to fight [Mahmoud] Charr or Chisora because he wouldn’t take it.
“AJ called the bluff. He took the bait. There were a load of discussions to be had. The only positive was the dialogue between us and Queensbury.
“Myself and George Warren [Frank Warren’s son] both agreed we weren’t going to say anything, we weren’t going to sit on social media. That worked, but then Tyson kept coming out and goading AJ.”
Hearn maintains that Joshua was very keen to face Fury, a rival who he has been linked to a fight with for more than half a decade during their concurrent runs as world champions.
Now, whether it is later in December or a little further down the line in January or February, Joshua is set to embark upon a more conventional rebuilding phase on the back of his consecutive losses to Usyk.
“It’s probably not an ideal time for AJ to fight Fury in terms of where he could be in four or five months. But he wanted to make the fight,” Hearn added. “I don’t make the decisions. Once AJ says ‘I want to take the fight’, it’s my job to try to make it.
“We did that. I’m not saying everyone was faultless but the goading from Tyson Fury and these fake deadlines, two of them… the deadline passes and he says, ‘You’re out, you bum-dosser, it’s you over. You’re finished. The fight’s off’. At that point, AJ goes, ‘okay whatever’. Queensbury wanted to make it, no doubt.
“As a team, we have to decide if AJ wants to go on December 17 or wants to wait until January or February. It’s the same plan that I had in the changing rooms after the Usyk fight — get active, enjoy yourself again, starting knocking people out and having fun. That’s the plan.”