Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could clash in December this year.
Fury, the WBC champion, retired from boxing after defeating Dillian Whyte, in April, but precious few in the sport believe the Gypsy King has donned his gloves for the last time.
Hearn confirmed on talkSPORT’s White and Jordan on Friday that Joshua’s rematch with Usyk, where he will try and win back his belts, will be announced next week with an August date in Saudi Arabia widely expected.
Regardless of whether AJ wins or loses against Usyk, Hearn believes Fury would take the fight against him in December.
“I think the fight between AJ and Fury is always there,” he explained.
“I mean, I still get questions walking down the street, even today, ‘When’s AJ fighting Fury?’
“It’s like, ‘He’s got Usyk first’. ‘Oh, has he?’ So of course, you don’t want to go back-to-back defeats but Usyk is also pound-for-pound, I think possibly no.1 right now.”
In an ideal world, Joshua avenges his defeat to Usyk and then faces Fury for all the heavyweight titles, but Hearn doesn’t believe the fight is dead with Fury if he doesn’t.
Losing to Usyk is never terrible, the Fury fight is always there, but for the undisputed heavyweight world championship, which it would be, it would just be the biggest fight of all time.
“And I think if AJ beats Usyk, that would be an automatic fight that you will see in December.”
The fact Hearn is calling the fight automatic tells you he is confident of luring Fury back, but the fact he has not yet vacated the WBC heavyweight title is even more telling.
Fury and Joshua were scheduled to meet last summer before a court of arbitration ruled that Fury had to complete his trilogy with Deontay Wilder first.
The Gypsy King did that in one of the all-time great heavyweight clashes last October, a month after Joshua lost to Usyk
There were talks between all parties that Fury might pay Joshua and Whyte to step aside to face Usyk for the undisputed title earlier this year, so he clearly has an interest in fighting for the ultimate prize.
However, he eventually decided to face Whyte, his mandatory challenger, and now the ball is back in AJ’s court.