Bob Arum says people “will blame Eddie Hearn forever” if a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua fails to materialise after talks appeared to break down following two supposed deadlines set by Fury; Matchroom declined to comment when approached by Sky Sports News
Bob Arum says Eddie Hearn “sabotaged” a prospective all-British heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, accusing the Matchroom promoter of “slow-playing” negotiations and being opposed to the fight since the beginning.
Fury twice took to social media last week to set Joshua and his team a deadline by which to sign a contract agreeing to the December 3 bout, to which the 32-year-old replied by underlining his intent to sign the deal while explaining it was in the hands of his lawyers given the finer details in play.
On Monday Hearn admitted negotiations had broken down and that, while being open to further discussions, the fight was off “as far as we’re concerned”.
But Arum has told Sky Sports it was Hearn who “killed this fight”.
“He 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 finalised, it could have been done in a couple of hours,” Arum said.
Matchroom declined to comment when approached by Sky Sports News.
“I mean, really sad because I really believed both fighters wanted this fight to happen,” Arum added. “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.
“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.
“Here, once the percentages were decided, there were no real issues. You could sit in a room for three hours and get everything finalised, but Hearn refused to do it. I think that was terrible on his part because I know Frank Warren and George, partners from Queensberry, were prepared to meet personally with Eddie and get everything worked out.
“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.”
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