Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury could be delayed by WBC champion’s dispute with Deontay Wilder, says Eddie Hearn

Tyson Fury’s dispute with Deontay Wilder over a third fight could disrupt plans for an undisputed world title clash with Anthony Joshua, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

Fury was set to announce a homecoming clash against Agit Kabayel in December, but has entered into a mediation process with Wilder after failing to agree terms for another WBC heavyweight title fight.

Unified champion Joshua will face IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, but Hearn is unsure whether Fury can still press ahead with a blockbuster battle next year.

🥊🔥 1 month to go! 🥊🔥

Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office 📺 pic.twitter.com/1TPpo3Dyh9

He told Sky Sports: “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.

“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 we don’t laugh through the pain we will cry 💥 pic.twitter.com/QkgzJhxV3J

Asked if the Joshua vs Fury schedule could become more complicated, Hearn said: “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 [Oleksandr] 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.”

Wilder must look elsewhere, if he does not receive a favourable ruling from the mediator, and Hearn believes the financial reward on offer will be much lower for a fight against a highly-ranked rival.

He said: “For five years, Dillian Whyte has been chasing Deontay Wilder, but the difference is now if they don’t get the Tyson Fury fight, he’s going to get the shock of his life when he sees the new proposal, and the new purse proposal to fight these guys, all of which can beat him.

“Andy Ruiz, Dillian Whyte, Filip Hrgovic, Oleksandr Usyk. They are all capable of beating Deontay Wilder.

“I want to see Deontay Wilder back in the ring, he’s entertaining, he’s great for the division. Great knockout power.

“If he’s missed the opportunity for the rematch, he’s going to be having two years of waiting to fight for the world heavyweight title again. He’s got to rebuild. Does he want to rebuild?”

Watch Katie Taylor, Terri Harper and Rachel Ball in world title action this Saturday, from 7pm on Sky Sports.

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