Eddie Hearn says Tyson Fury has ‘played’ fans ‘for years’ as Oleksandr Usyk talks stall over money

Eddie Hearn has accused Tyson Fury of ‘playing’ fans and media ‘for years’, after the WBC heavyweight champion’s talks with Oleksandr Usyk stalled over monetary demands.

Fury and Usyk are expected to clash this year to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000, but the Ukrainian’s promoter said this week that the Briton had rejected a 60-40 purse split in favour of the winner.

Alex Krassyuk also suggested that Fury is more interested in a specific sum of money than a certain split.

When asked about the matter, Eddie Hearn told iFL TV on Thursday (9 March): “I’ll tell you this, Anthony Joshua fought Oleksandr Usyk back to back – no f***ing problems, no questions, no long negotations. ‘That’s my mandatory? I’ll fight him.’

“Everyone said: ‘Swerve Oleksandr Usyk. He’s a tough, tough fight; you don’t want to fight him.’ AJ said: ‘No, I want to be undisputed. Give me Usyk.’ Done. The rematch comes in. ‘Oh, you don’t want to fight Usyk, you need a warm-up fight.’ [AJ said:] ‘Give me Usyk.’

“When are you guys out there going to start understanding? [Fury says] ‘It’s not about the money, I’ll fight him for free, as long as the tickets are free for the general public.’ F*** off.

“You want money, you want too much money. You’re not the draw you think you are, that fight’s not as big as you think it is.

“[It’s] greed. If you’re about legacy, if you want to be undisputed, then you take the fight. Oh, so you’re gonna get £50million or £60m instead of the £80m or £100m, £125m that you asked for. F*** me. You’ve all been played for all these years.

Tyson Fury (left) facing off with Oleksandr Usyk in December (Action Images via Reuters)
Tyson Fury (left) facing off with Oleksandr Usyk in December (Action Images via Reuters)

“If you really want the fight, you have to make concessions. Fury’s got a point, he’s a bigger draw, but I’ll tell you something now: When Tyson Fury drew with Deontay Wilder [in 2018], we offered him 40-60 to fight Anthony Joshua as a voluntary challenger. He came back and said: ‘I’ll only fight AJ on 50-50.’ At the time, AJ was a much bigger draw.

“Tyson Fury is worth more than 50-50 in this fight, but if you want to to be the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis, then you take 50-50 and you get the fight done.”

Fury, 34, last boxed in December, outpointing Derek Chisora in a trilogy bout to retain the WBC title.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Usyk last fought in August, beating Joshua for the second time in 11 months. Usyk took the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles from the Briton in their first clash, before retaining the gold in their rematch.

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