Total confusion on Oleksandr Usyk situation, Hearn has no clue if Joshua fight will happen

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn still has no idea whether Oleksandr Usyk will be Ukraine to face leaving Anthony Joshua in the rematch that he’s hoping will take place in June.

Hearn was sounding in panic mode about the rematch not happening, and one could tell that he’s not relishing the idea of ​​Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) taking a risky interim fight, which won’t pay as much as the Usyk clash.

If Joshua is going to lose again, it’s better that he get beaten by Usyk because there is less of a backlash getting beaten by a talented fighter like him.

This week, Hearn has fluctuated back and forth, sounding optimism about the Joshua-Usyk rematch going ahead and then turning around and expressing doubts.

As of today, Hearn was once again doubtful about the rematch taking place soon between AJ and IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).

Hearn uncertain about rematch

“I’ve changed my mind now. I had a conversation a few days ago, and I just felt that Usyk would make that fight at the end of June,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV. “You’ve seen Vasily Lomachenko come overnight to say, ‘I’m out of the Kambosos fight. I’m going to stay in Ukraine.’

“It probably makes it difficult for Oleksandr Usyk to do something different,” said Hearn. “Obviously, they’re very close as well. I’m due to catch up with Alex Krassyuk today or tomorrow. We just need to know. I know it’s a delicate situation, but for AJ’s career, we need to know.

“Are we fighting an interim fight in June and then fighting Usyk in September or October or are you ready to go at the end of June. If he’s not, we’ll let him wait. We want to fight now.

“Because of the Vasily Lomachenko news last night,” Hearn said on why he’s changed his mind about his belief about Usyk likely NOT leaving Ukraine to face Joshua in June.

“They’re very close. If Vasily says, ‘I’m staying,’ and Usyk says, ‘I’m going.’ But you can only imagine what’s going on there. I can’t imagine what I’d do or what decision I’d make if I was in that position.

“We give them the respect, and the time they need, but we need to move on with Anthony Joshua’s career,” Hearn said.

No clear candidate for interim fight

“Not really at the moment, to be honest with you,” said Hearn when asked if he’s looking at a candidate for Joshua’s interim fight. “Luis Ortiz’s team reached out to be. Otto Wallin’s team reached out to me.

“I think one or two others. Those are the only ones that reached out for the fight. I haven’t been going back. There’s no point in negotiating the fight until we know what we’re doing.

“AJ has made it clear to me that he wants a top contender. He wants a world-ranked contender. So if that’s the route that we go down, then we’ll look at all the available options and go from there.

“Of course, it’s a terrible situation. We respect Usyk and we give him all their time. Selfishly, and people might say.

“I don’t mind saying selfishly because we have to look after Anthony Joshua, and I need to make sure that I get him active, get him in the ring.

“In that case, we need an answer soon, and I’ve not pushed for an answer at all, but we’re at a stage now where we need to push for an answer.

Usyk being given time

We’ll give Usyk the time. We’re not letting that opportunity escape because that’s the only fight AJ wants in all honesty,” said Hearn.

“But if we have to get out and prepare for Usyk with an interim fight with a new training team and whatever it might be then that’s what we’ll do.

“That’s the plan,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua will definitely fight in June. “We don’t really want to fight any later than June, and that’s when the guidelines of the agreement in terms of the timeframe runs to. June is where we want to fight.

“We’ve had a lot of international offers for AJ to fight, and we’ve got options in the UK as well. We’re already in deep negotiations for the Usyk fighting for a number of venues, and obviously, we need to give them the feedback to say, ‘Are we proceeding? Where are we going?’

“We’ve spoken to a number of venues for the Usyk fight, and we’re speaking to a number of venues for the interim fight as well, which could turn around really quickly should we get the news from Usyk that he would like to wait.

Alexander Usyk, Anthony Joshua boxing photo

“Never reached out to contact, no,” said Hearn when asked if he’d been contacted about setting up a Joshua vs. Joe Joyce fight. “I think Joyce is doing a good job. He’s building, and that’s a fight that can definitely be looked at, but let’s see what happens with Usyk first.

“We just want to fight Usyk, to be honest with you, but if we can’t, we need an opponent,” said Hearn.

Waiting game

“It’s constantly changing, constantly moving, as is everything in boxing obviously,” said Frank Smith of Matchroom Boxing to iFL TV on the Joshua vs. Usyk rematch situation.

“Usyk has very important things going on, much bigger than boxing right now. We’re waiting for an update on that. AJ’s #1 focus is to fight Usyk again. He wants to go in there and do a job on Usyk, but let’s see how things play out.

“I think this week really that we’re going to get much more of a clearer picture of it all. Obviously, there were discussions about Lomachenko as well fighting Kambosos. Lomachenko said he’s not traveling. So we’ve got to wait until later this week to see how this plays out.

“Ultimately if that’s not possible, we’ll have to look at an interim fight for Anthony. Hopefully, by the end of the week, we’ll have a clearer picture because obviously, we need to get moving and get plans in place.

“He’s always been targeting June time. That was the date we were looking at for the Usyk fight,” said Smith when asked when Joshua wanted to fight. “So that’s always been the focus. So sometime in June from start to finish, we can make something work.

“I haven’t heard anything, but it hasn’t gone to me,” said Smith about whether Joe Joyce’s management had contacted to try and make the Joshua fight.


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