While Eddie Hearn is looking to sign some fo the biggest names in American boxing for his burgeoning Matchroom Boxing USA brand, he almost pulled of a major coup in signing Tyson Fury.
Fury was in serious negotiations with Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, but would end up working with Frank Warren, who helped Fury navigate the road to get past issues with UK Anti-Doping and the British Boxing Board of Control in late 2017.
In an interview with IFL TV, Hearn claimed he mapped out four fights he wanted to make for Fury’s comeback to the ring.
Instead of a tune-up fight with the converted cruiserweight Sefer Seferi, Hearn was looking to link Fury against heavyweight contender Travis Kauffman.
“When we were talking to sign him, I said ‘look, I understand you want an easy one’. I’ll give you an example, I said to him he could fight Travis Kauffman. That was a guy I wanted him to fight in his first fight back,” Hearn told IFL TV.
“He won’t fight anywhere at the level of Kauffman for four fights he tells me. I said he could fight Kauffman, then he could fight Tony Bellew, Dillian Whyte and Anthony Joshua. That is my four-fight plan. That is probably about £30 million in his pocket right there.
“But he wanted four fights against a lower level – but it is going to kill his credibility and kill his value. Is he still a talented fighter? Of course he is although he didn’t look it. Is he still the same fighter? You’d think so. He’s done incredibly well to even get back in the gym.”
Much like many boxing fans, Hearn is shaking his head at Fury’s fight against Seferi, because he may diminish his value taking fights against lesser contenders.
“You can’t call yourself the lineal heavyweight champion of the world and say ‘I will go back in with Joshua or Wilder in my first fight’ and then fight Sefer Seferi,” Hearn said.
“Don’t expect anyone better for the next few. This is the problem. What he said, there is an element of truth to that, he did deserve an easy one but Seferi isn’t even a boxer really. He’s the number two Albanian cruiserweight, number one was his brother. He was Ali-shuffling. My worry was always that Fury would do this and devalue himself in the bigger fights, making those fights even tougher to make.”