Eddie Hearn, promoter for IBF, WBA, WBO, IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, does not expect a quick resolution to the ongoing legal drama between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Hearn is hoping to make a big unification between Joshua and Fury, who holds the WBC title, in 2021.
That plan could see a delay as Fury and his handlers deal with a legal claim brought forward by Wilder.
Joshua is scheduled to make a mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev on December 12.
Fury was planning to make a voluntary defense on December 5. That plan was scrapped on Sunday, when Fury announced that his ring return was pushed back to 2021.
Hearn had hoped that both champions would fight in December and then face each other in 2021.
Fury was in action back in February, when he stopped Wilder in the seventh round to capture the WBC world title.
Wilder would then exercise an immediate rematch clause.
Their third meeting was postponed several times, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Fury and his team felt the rematch clause had expired – and planned to fight on December 5.
But Wilder and his management believe the rematch clause is still valid and initiated a legal action – which forced both sides to mediation.
“We try and avoid the mess, and keep discipline and focus on what we’re doing, and the path for AJ has always been clear, with the ups and downs of the Ruiz fight, and getting that rematch over the line. But we know what we’re doing. December 12, it was announced probably eight weeks before the fight, we’re focused on the victory,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“That’s their [Fury and Wilder’s] business, it’s a right mess either way, and it’s not going to resolve itself any time soon. Hopefully we can just make sure that if Anthony Joshua can beat Kubrat Pulev on December 12, then the path is clear for AJ against Fury in 2021.”
If the Fury-Wilder legal mess becomes more complicated, then Joshua could face his WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
“If the legal action rumbles on, because ultimately after that fight with Pulev, we want to be in a position to say ‘This is the fight for the undisputed’. Get the sanctioning in place and obviously you’ve got Usyk now standing in the wings, saying ‘Once that Pulev fight is over, I want to be called as mandatory’. That’s just going to be another issue that we’re going to have to deal with. Hopefully, they can resolve whatever problem – who is right, who is wrong. That’s the job of the arbitrators and the mediators, and good luck to them,” Hearn said.