ANTHONY JOSHUA tells Eddie Hearn that he would rather defeat Oleksandr Usyk on his own than step aside for Tyson Fury.
Joshua was signed to an immediate rematch with the Ukrainian, after being dethroned at the WBA, IBF and WBO belts in September.
But there was a push from the Middle East that led Usyk to fight Fury instead in the first four-belt heavyweight title fight.
The result is, Joshua is offered a fee aside to allow reunification in Saudi Arabia but an agreement fell apart.
Hearn said above Time MMA: “The only other thing I’m looking at because there’s a lot of money on the table is this other deal, but no other fight.
“Again, that’s the fight, and that’s the fight AJ wants. He will change his coaching staff.
“But when I sat with him last Monday about stepping aside, he said, ‘I’m going to beat Usyk.’
“I said, ‘But you haven’t started working on your new coach yet. ” He said, ‘I’ll beat him without a coach.’
“He was pumped for that fight, and it was a really tough fight.”
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Joshua, 32, and Fury’s mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte, 33, are said to have agreed to separate step-by-step transactions.
But at the 11th hour talks broke down meaning AJ is now in line to rematch Usyk this summer.
And Fury, 33, will now go on to defend his mandatory title against longtime rival Whyte, was targeted on April 23 in Cardiff.
The Gypsy King side accused AJ of asking for £3.7 million to sit out, which caused the deal to fall apart.
But Hearn previously hit back and insisted Fury wanted a warm-up fight against Usyk, 35, and claimed he never wanted to face southpaw from the start.
When I sat with him last Monday about stepping aside, he said, ‘I’m going to beat Usyk.’
Eddie Hearn on Anthony Joshua
“By the way, Fury is not a fan,” he said. He knows how good Usyk is. That’s why he didn’t want to go against him.
“He’s really good. So it’s been an uphill fight for AJ. I just hope that AJ gets credit for the games he’s in.
“How many honest fighters would fight Usyk if they were in Joshua’s shoes?
“How many people have left the perimeter and gone, ‘Oh, no, we’re going down a different path.’
“He wanted this fight, and now he’s fighting him outright. So May was when we planned to do that fight in the UK. ”
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/boxing/8306805/usyk-anthony-joshua-hearn-step-aside-tyson-fury-fight/ ‘I’m going to beat Usyk’ – what Anthony Joshua told Hearn after being offered money aside to let Tyson Fury fight the Ukrainian