Speaking at Matchroom headquarters in Brentwood, where alongside new partner DAZN, plans for a three-week fight program were unveiled, Hearn added: “AJ knows how good Usyk is but he wants do a job on him because he also knows people aren’t sure he wins the fight and think he likes it.
“He’s been in four weeks of left-handed fighting in Sheffield and he’s gearing up for a big fight. We just hope that everywhere is open because we want to make Spurs 60-70,000.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a four-week delay before the end of coronavirus restrictions in England due to a new Delta variant, but Hearn does not expect this to have an impact on the fight of Joshua with Usyk.
That won’t affect Matchroom’s second installment of Fight Camp, which begins July 31 with Conor Benn putting his WBA continental title on the line against Mexican Adrian Granados.
Two more shows will take place in Brentwood on August 7-14, kicking off the historic new partnership with DAZN, the leading sports streaming platform.
A limited number of spectators will be able to catch the shows with Women’s World Champion Shannon Courtenay and heavyweight Joshua Buatsi in action alongside a number of other fighters from the Matchroom team.
Hearn is excited about the prospect of showing his talent to a wider global audience after a five-year agreement was reached with DAZN earlier this month to become Matchroom Boxing’s exclusive broadcast partner.
“We made a plan to take Conor Benn to the world title in five fights,” Hearn revealed.
“I think Granados is perfect. It’s a bit more difficult than Samuel Vargas, so I think he will go further in the fight and ask him a few questions.
“He always needs those types of fights and frankly when he hits the numbers he hits we don’t want to see him in a 50-50 fight yet. We want to see him prepared for that and that’s somebody. one that will benefit from the international calendar.
“I think he’s perfect for US shows, he speaks Spanish so I’d love to take him to Mexico and connect him with Canelo (Alvarez) and Eddie Reynoso on one of their shows.
“He can box in Spain, Australia where his old man is based, so I really see him as a future world star. He’s right up there in terms of audience.”
Two-weight world champion Katie Taylor, Buatsi and Lawrence Okolie are also expected to fight in America before the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, who recently made a deal to be promoted by Hearn, is set to return to the ring on September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks – in America with DAZN set to broadcast the fight and a number of tributes planned to mark the occasion.
COMMENT: Greatest fight in British boxing history is not dead yet
By Gareth A Davies
It’s not hard to see why Anthony Joshua thinks the fight with Tyson Fury will never happen. He spent the first part of this year preparing for the fight of his life that could have made him the undisputed world heavyweight champion. All year round, he would have watched the competition, perfected his movements and mentally prepared himself piece by piece.
The victory and fame would have also earned him a career record £ 70million, or more according to pay-per-view figures. At the same time, it would have given him the opportunity to silence many skeptics, including The Ring Magazine, which places Fury as the No.1 heavyweight.
Joshua’s thoughts about this year would have been to settle the debate once and for all. So, following the refereeing ruling that Fury is scheduled to take on Deontay Wilder for the third time, it’s no big shock that Joshua took to Twitter to attack Fury. His anger had to be directed somewhere, and it was directed at the man he had prepared himself for.
Conversely, however, there’s no way Fury wouldn’t want the fight with Joshua to continue. The promoters might be playing an overall chess match here, but why wouldn’t Fury want to fight Joshua? Why wouldn’t he want the prospect of entering it as a favorite, with the ability to unify all belts, and also have the biggest payday of his life?
The biggest fight in British boxing history is not over yet. But Joshua must now defeat Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk on September 25, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, to retain his title belts, and Fury must defeat Wilder to retain the WBC title on July 24. The two British fighters will earn a third of the purse they might have been waiting for in the late Dust Up In the Dunes in Saudi Arabia.
Given the two-month gap between fights, the big question is how the teams fare in a renegotiation if they both win. Money speaks, however, and despite the war of words and slurs that come and go between Hearn and US Fury promoter Bob Arum, there is hope that the Joshua-Fury fight can happen. The trashy talk on both sides can get insidious at times, but if the two fighters both claim the prizes in Las Vegas and London – two tough fights – the merry-go-round will start again.