By Scott Gilfoid: Tyson Fury asked for a 50-50 purse split for a fight against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, according to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. He says Fury wants four easy tune-up fights against poor opposition, and then he wants a fight against Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) for a 50 percent cut of the revenue.
Hearn laughed after Fury’s request, because he feels it was totally out of left field. However, Hearn states that Fury would get a bigger cut than WBC heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Hearn is seemingly going through the motions to setup a fight between Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, but it looks like he’s not serious about it. Hearn offered Wilder a flat fee $12.5 million offer, which he’s basing on the fight not bringing in a lot of money. If it does bring in a lot more than his small estimates, then Joshua will make a boatload of cash, whereas Wilder will be stuck with his $12.5 million flat fee. It’s a very good deal for Joshua, because if the fight hauls in $100 million, he walks away with nearly $90 million. Wilder gets much less with his nearly 10 percent cut.
“He don’t want the Joshua fight, just yet. He wants four easy paydays and then maybe the Joshua fight,” Hearn said to iFL TV. “We spoke last Tuesday. Tyson Fury is a character. He’d call me up and he’d say, ‘right, I want to fight these geezers.”
You can’t blame Fury for wanting 4 tune-ups after 2 ½ years out of the ring. Look at the way Hearn has matched Joshua. Almost all the guys that Joshua has fought since he turned pro in 2013 have been poor opponents. When a fighter wins a gold medal like Joshua, they’re supposed to fight good opposition right off the bat rather than facing poor opponents for four years before they finally start fighting the talented fighters in the division. I get the impression that Hearn wants Fury to fight his Matchroom Boxing stable fighters Tony Bellew and Dillian Whyte before he faces Joshua. In other words, instead of Fury fighting tune-up guys against lower level fighters to get the cobwebs off of his game, Hearn would prefer that he faces his Matchroom fighters straightaway. That wouldn’t exactly be fair to Fury, would it? I think Hearn either doesn’t understand the boxing business or he simply doesn’t have any patience for fighters that need to be brought slowly back into the sport after they’ve been out of action for ages like Fury. It also could be that Hearn is only interested in helping himself and his own fighters, because it would definitely help Whyte and Bellew’s bottom line if they got a fight against Fury in 2018 or 2019.
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“He’d send me through the list. I mean, I genuinely mean this, you might be able to beat them, some of the people he sent through,” Hearn said. ”‘So I want four of them, and then give me 50-50 [purse split] with Josh.’ I’m like, ‘mate, you want 50-50 with AJ?!’ ‘Yep, I’ll sign the deal now.’ So we went back and forwards taking the p*** out of each other. He said, ‘right, I’m going to phone Josh now.’ So he phoned Josh and Josh called me. He was like, ‘Fury’s been calling me.’ I said, ‘yeah he wants 50-50 in a fight.’ He started laughing.”
As you can see, Hearn has absolutely no patience whatsoever in Fury being given the chance to take tune-up fights. That’s interesting because if the shoe was on the other foot and it was his golden goose Joshua that was coming back after a 2 ½ year layoff and after having ballooned up to 360 pounds, I doubt that Hearn would give him grief for wanting to take 4 simple tune-up level opponents. Hearn would obviously give Joshua any number of tune-up fights. Heck, Hearn has already let Joshua feast on a ton of tune-up level opposition.
What jumps out at me in reading about Hearn’s reaction to Fury asking for a 50-50 deal for the Joshua fight is how tight-fisted he is. Hearn is so unwilling to give the other heavyweights the money they’re asking for that it likely will keep Joshua from ever fighting them. Wilder is not going to agree to a flat fee for a fight against Joshua, and Fury sure as heck isn’t going to agree the small end of the stick for a fight against Joshua. He’s going to want either parity or near parity for a fight with AJ.
Hearn says former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker didn’t receive the 33 percent split that many boxing fans think he received. Hearn doesn’t say how much he got, but it appears that was far below 33 percent. I’m just wondering how Parker would even agree to a deal with Joshua if he didn’t even get 33 percent. Even fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao gave some of their opponent’s fair deals. If all Wilder is being offered is a 12.5 percent cut of the loot for a fight with Joshua, I can’t only imagine what Fury is getting.
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Hearn says it’s more than Wilder’s offer, but the way he’s talking, I wouldn’t be surprised if all Fury is going to get is a 20 percent offer. It seems to be like it’s not even worth fighting Joshua if he’s going to be hogging all the money. I’m just saying. But these things have a way of self-correcting. As soon as the boxing public gets tired of seeing Joshua fight mediocre opposition, the PPV buys and ticket sales will start to drop off.
Once that happens, Hearn will have no choice but to give Wilder and Fury a fair split of the revenue. But if Hearn continues to offer flat fees for the top fighters, Joshua is going to be stuck fighting guys like Alexander Povetkin, Jarrell Miller, Dillian Whyte and Kubrat Pulev for the remainder of his career. Those are decent fighters, but they’re not popular.
Fury will be making his comeback on June 9 against an opponent still to be determined at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. Theirs is no word yet who the opponent will be for the fight date.
“I could beat Anthony Joshua tomorrow night,” Fury said to the express.co.uk. “I could beat AJ, Deontay Wilder, Joseph Parker. I could beat them all and I’m ready to fight. I don’t see it being a hard fight to make because I’ve made it very easy. I think it’s a fight that has to happen. It’s the biggest fight ever in British history. If I could fight for a world title tomorrow I would. I know nobody can beat me and I’m 29, not 49. I’ve got another 10 years left in me.”
Well, I sure as heck don’t see Joshua fighting Fury anytime soon if ever; not with the way Hearn is talking. He’s not interested in giving Fury the 50-50 deal, and with the way he laughed about him asking for that deal, it doesn’t look like the two of them are in the same galaxy when it comes to the money. When a fighter becomes too popular, they start offering peanuts to their opposition and they end up with no one willing to fight them for that kind of money. If Hearn wants the bigger names to fight Joshua, he’s going to need to let them whet their beaks on some of that cold cash. They’re not going to help Joshua out by bringing in the fans without being able to enjoy some of that green.