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Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn is getting blamed for the stall in negotiations for the Tyson Fury vs Joshua British showdown.
Hearn stands accused of employing delay tactics by holding onto the contract after revision by Bob Arum, who looks after Fury’s United States interests after the Gypsy King’s promoter Frank Warren did likewise over the weekend.
“Eddie Hearn is stalling everything because he doesn’t want the fight to happen,” Arum told talkSPORT.
“And why doesn’t he want the fight to happen? Because Joshua’s lost three out of his last five fights.
“He figures to lose again if he fights Tyson Fury, and so Eddie is in effect being an impediment.
“I don’t know of any issues. He sends a draft, then Frank and George (Warren) reply. Then we don’t hear from Eddie for days.
“He’s stalling until it dies of its own volition.”
Arum was quick to point out that Joshua is Matchroom Boxing’s most valuable asset and another loss for the former two-time world champion would be career-ending.
However, the Hall of Famer didn’t send any claims or accusations towards the British-Nigerian, only Hearn.
“I don’t think Joshua is part of that,” Arum said of the ex-IBF, WBO, and WBA heavyweight belt holder.
“I think Joshua, for whatever reason, wants the fight to happen. And I know Tyson Fury does.
“But Eddie doesn’t. So Eddie is doing whatever he can to prevent the fight from happening.
“From Eddie’s standpoint, he believes he has a valuable asset in Joshua, who has now lost three out of five fights. He figures to lose again, which could make it four out of six, and it would make him a lot less valuable after the event.
“So he’s trying to prevent it from happening.”
Fury is offering Joshua a WBC title shot despite his rematch defeat to Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia last August.
Joshua likely had no chances of getting a world title shot for some time before Fury presented an opportunity of the blue, and it was assumed that Joshua would leap at it.
Something happened during the negotiations process that has apparently changed his eagerness despite Joshua agreeing on all terms publicly.
Arum wants Hearn to stop putting a block on the fight and send back the finalized contract for December 3rd. The venue is already booked, and the purse split is arranged for a Cardiff bout.
All the fight needs is a signature from Joshua and it’s good to go, according to Arum.
“You can’t make a fight unless somebody agrees to the contract. But if you put him in a torture chamber, he still wouldn’t agree to the contract.
“There are no issues, If there were some issues, then I could see it, but there are no issues.
“Get in the goddamn room with the Warrens and sit down. Finalize the contract, and let’s get it signed.
“I don’t blame Tyson Fury for getting upset at what is happening.”
At present, though, Fury wants the fight with Joshua. Warren agrees with Arum on squarely blaming Hearn for why Joshua won’t sign to fight Fury.
“Actions speak louder than words. Eddie Hearn going on about Tyson setting deadlines may be nice lines in front of the camera.
“But the reality is when we get told ‘we’re sending something over’ and nothing arrives, what reaction did they expect from Tyson?
“It’s frustrating for him and for the last week or so. He’s felt that deep down Joshua didn’t want it.”