Bob Arum isn’t taking back anything that he said.
The Top Rank CEO continues to stick with his statement that Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn is trying to prevent the Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua showdown from happening before the end of this year.
“[Hearn] wanted to kill it because even as late as yesterday [Monday], if he’d have said let’s all get together and sit in a room and get everything finalized, it could have been done in a couple of hours. I mean, really sad because I really believed both fighters wanted this fight to happen. The first issue was well there’s different networks involved. So, there was a meeting held and, lo and behold, all the networks signed off and they found a way to do it,” Arum told Sky Sports.
“Now, Mr. Hearn got involved and he didn’t want the fight to happen from the get-go, so he slow-played it. I’ve been in this business almost 60 years so I can tell when somebody doesn’t want something to happen and then slow-plays a negotiation…”
The two sides – Top Rank and Fury along with Matchroom Boxing and Joshua – have been negotiating the targeted December 3 fight for weeks now and have hit multiple roadblocks along the way.
Fury had repeatedly called out Joshua for a fight on social media, where the fellow Brit eventually accepted — also on social media.
Fury’s other co-promoter, Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, said that a contract was on the way, but there hasn’t been much progress since then. Earlier this week, Arum blamed Hearn for stalling the fight. Hearn stated that his party has been working “tirelessly” to get the contract in “decent” shape.
On Monday, Hearn claimed that as far as he’s concerned, the Fury-Joshua fight is “off,” but is happy to pick up discussions.
“Bob Arum hasn’t had one phone call about this fight,” Hearn told iFL TV.
“No one from Matchroom has spoken to Bob Arum … he’s just not involved. Frank Warren, who has also had his comments on this situation, has not had one phone call with Team AJ on this fight. Everything has been between myself and (Frank Warren’s son) George Warren, and occasionally Frank in calls with the lawyers … so I can only tell you—they’ve been great by the way. Again, no disagreements.
“When people come out who weren’t even involved in the process with their opinions, like Bob saying, ‘Everything was done.’ No it f—— wasn’t,” Hearn said.
“So what was the US broadcast situation? What was the global TV rights if that was ‘all done’? It wasn’t. But I want to focus on fights that are happening.”
“I mean there were no issues, for a fight not to happen where there are no issues because one promoter doesn’t want it to happen and is in a stalling position is to my mind reprehensible. I knew that Eddie would find a way to sabotage the fight. Now, I mean, isn’t that ridiculous? ‘Bob said the fight wouldn’t happen, therefore it’s not my fault’. What are you talking about?
“Get in a room with Frank Warren and his son George and work out the couple of issues that are really nothing and get the fight on. But, Eddie Hearn has nothing left really in his stable and he is clinging to AJ as his only potential attraction.”