LONDON (AP) — Anthony Joshua has received an offer to pull out of his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk to allow the Ukrainian to fight Tyson Fury for the title of undisputed world heavyweight champion, his promoter said Wednesday.
Eddie Hearn said it might make sense for Joshua to agree to step aside and then fight the winner of Usyk-Fury.
“If the plan makes sense from a development point of view — working with a new trainer, maybe having a fight first, going into a much bigger fight — I can see the sense in it,” Hearn said on the DAZN Boxing Show.
“But with Anthony, it’s never been a case of, ‘Here’s some money, does it tempt you?’ Because he’s not about that. He’s a throwback fighter. It’s about legacy.”
Hearn didn’t reveal the value of the offer but said it’s ultimately Joshua’s decision: “AJ is the boss — he will rule it out or not rule it out.”
The heavyweight division is in suspense while Fury, the WBC champion, concludes drawn-out negotiations with Dillian Whyte, the mandatory challenger, over a world title fight.
The Fury and Whyte camps have been unable to come to an agreement over the split of fight revenue and the WBC granted them an extension of the negotiation period until Friday, when purse bids will take place if no agreement has been reached.
Whyte is promoted by Hearn, who is also overseeing the potential rematch between Joshua and Usyk. Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF belts to Usyk in September and has since activated a contractual clause for a rematch.
“All he wants to do is win the world heavyweight title back,” Hearn said. “Right now he has a cast-iron opportunity to do that in a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
“Any step-aside, any other plan has to be solid, not, ‘Hopefully you guys get a winner and Fury fights Usyk then Fury decides to be inactive for two years’ … he’s not out there looking for another fight, another plan, looking for a step-aside.”