Eddie Hearn explains why Anthony Joshua may snub Kubrat Pulev in favour of Tyson Fury bout

Eddie Hearn admits a serious delay to Anthony Joshua’s showdown with Kubrat Pulev could prompt him to pursue a heavyweight title unification fight with Tyson Fury. Joshua was scheduled to defend his unified titles against the Bulgarian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on June 20.

The coronavirus outbreak, however, has laid waste to those plans and seen Joshua’s homecoming postponed.

July 25 is the new tentative date for the pair’s meeting, which was originally meant to take place in October 2017.

But with no end date in sight for the banning of mass gatherings, it’s unsure if the fight will even take place in July.

Hearn, who is still the process of drawing up further contingency plans, is all to aware of that fact but remains optimistic the fight will go ahead as planned.

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It might get to stage where if AJ has not boxed Pulev for months, he starts thinking he’s getting older, he doesn’t want the big fights to slide and this might be his only chance to become undisputed heavyweight champion

Eddie Hearn

In an interview with the Evening Standard, the Matchroom Boxing chief said: “The next two weeks will tell us everything we need to know.

“We hope July 25 is the rescheduled date, but the bigger question is that Joshua has to fight by the middle of August to box twice this year, which is the plan.”

Should Joshua’s first outing since reclaiming the unified heavyweight throne be delayed past July, Hearn believes the Olympian’s focus will shift to unifying the division.

And that belief stems from Joshua’s eagerness not to miss out on a legacy-defining fight.

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He added: “If it goes beyond that, the conversation may go straight to the fight with Tyson Fury in October or November.

“There’s a contract to fight Pulev and Fury has to fight Deontay Wilder, but anything is possible in this crazy world.

“It might get to stage where if AJ has not boxed Pulev for months, he starts thinking he’s getting older, he doesn’t want the big fights to slide and this might be his only chance to become undisputed heavyweight champion. For AJ, it’s all about the legacy.”

In order for a heavyweight title unification fight between Joshua and Fury to take place in the autumn, the pair’s respective promoters will have to convince Pulev and Wilder to sit on the sidelines.

Team Fury are reportedly eager to get out of their obligation to have a trilogy fight with Wilder, whom ‘The Gypsy King’ dethroned in February.

Wilder, however, will likely need to receive a hefty payoff to forego his rubber match with his successor atop of the summit of the WBC’s heavyweight rankings.

The third instalment of Fury vs Wilder was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on July 18.

But like Joshua vs Pulev, the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the postponement of the contest, which has been rescheduled for October.

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