Eddie Hearn will be ready to make a big offer to the winner of the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury 2 rematch on February 22 for them to come over to Saudi Arabia to face IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a big money.
Although Hearn would like to place the fight between Joshua and Fury in the UK, the money in the country can’t match what they would receive by fighting elsewhere like Saudi. Hearn says it’s not £10m extra for each fighter. It’s double.
Hearn is counting on Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) to beat WBC champion Wilder, because the thinks he would be an easier fight to make against Joshua. The way Wilder has looked in his last two fights, Fury’s chances of winning the rematch are low.
Hearn will offer Wilder-Fury 2 winner Joshua fight in Saudi
“It all came out like we had this huge offer, as in the number has been determined and et cetera, et cetera,” said Hearn to IFL TV about an offer from Saudi to host a fight between Anthony Joshua and the Wilder vs. Fury 2 winner.
“What we’ve had is we’ve talked numbers with Saudi. They’re our partners, and we know what they would pay for an undisputed fight. And knowing what they would pay, I can’t see how the fight can’t happen, for either outcome.
“And it’s going to be quite straight forward,” said Hearn. “The winner of that fight [Wilder vs. Fury 2], we’re going to go to them, and say, ‘Do you want to do this fight in Saudi?’ This is the pot of money. We’re going to carve it up. Are you in?’ ‘No we can’t because we got to do the rematch.’ No problem, we’ll go and fight [Oleksandr] Usyk, and then we’ll go do it next year. Do you know what I mean?
“They [the Saudis] love it,” continued Hearn. “They’re massive fight fans. Prince Khalid loves boxing, and that’s one of the reasons why we’re in the relationship.
There’s going to be many, many more. He went to Vegas to see Floyd and all the guys. He’s everywhere, and he loves it. He has big plans for Saudi, big plans. The first one [Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. 2] was so successful, he’s ready to go ahead to do 3 or 4 in 2020,” said Hearn.
If Wilder destroys Fury on February 22, it’ll be interesting to see if Fury exercises the rematch clause in the contract to force a third fight later this year. It might be far better for Fury to let Wilder move on, and face Joshua. If Fury gets knocked out twice in a row in 2020, it’ll be bad.
Money not there to stage Joshua-Fury in UK
“For me, it should happen in the UK, and if there’s a way to do it, we’ll do it,” said Hearn about Fury vs. Joshua possibly not happening in the UK. “But because the government here doesn’t invest to bring big fights to the UK, they don’t necessarily need to. They’ve got Premier League Football selling 50, 60 and 80,000 thousand.
“But other countries, whether it’s Nigeria, whether it’s Congo, whether it’s China, whether it’s Saudi, whether it’s Qatar, their government and their tourism department has a huge pot of money that they’re looking to bring huge entertainment events to showcase their country to the world as a tourism destination,” said Hearn.
“Someone messaged me last night and said, ‘F— sake, Eddie. Saudi Arabia. Who cares about the money. Just do it in England.’ Do you think that I go up to the guys and say, ‘Guys, you can make $150 million to do it in Saudi or $40 million in the UK, but Dave on Twitter say you’ve got to do it in England.’ It doesn’t work like that, and it’s not even if the fighter’s agree,” said Hearn.
Assuming Fury beats Wilder, it’s doubtful that Wilder is going to let him move on to fight Joshua in Saudi. Why would he? Hearn is speculating big time in seeing things under the best possible light for Joshua, but it’s so doubtful that’ll happen that way.
Wilder will absolutely force the third fight if he loses on February 22 to Fury. You can’t say the same for the 31-year-old Fury though, especially if he gets knocked cold by Wilder. Fury was already knocked unconscious in the 12th round by Wilder in their first fight in 2018. In his last fight, Fury was staggered by Otto Wallin in the 12th.
Joshua vs. Fury can make double outside of UK
“If it was a difference of $10 million each, but it’s not. It’s double to go somewhere else, and it can’t be ignored, especially with a fight like that [Joshua vs. Fury],” said Hearn. “It’s a one off. No, is the answer,” said Hearn when asked if Las Vegas can compete with the Saudis for a big fight like Joshua vs. Fury. “I think it’s a case where they’re the only people, along with a huge broadcast fee from DAZN or all of a sudden it does become a huge 2 million pay-per-view fight.
But what we found from the Ruiz fight is the subscriptions were so high on DAZN, and it was out of the country and on what was supposed to be a poor time,” said Hearn. “So what we’re actually finding now is it doesn’t really matter too much difference where that fight is. From the UK perspective, the Saudi fight [between Joshua and Ruiz 2], broke the revenue record, and it was on at 9:00 p.m.
“It’s a risk to do a fight abroad. Something could have gone wrong in the Saudi fight,” said Hearn. “Everything is a risk when you go outside your comfort zone. Sometimes it doesn’t work out like with [Jose] Ramirez, who no fault of Top Rank’s, it’s canceled.
“Unfortunately, Ramirez is going, ‘I’ve done 12 weeks. Where’s the date?’ Now they’ve got to find another date. Everything Saudi promised me, they delivered. So we’ve extended our partnership, and we’re looking forward to some big fights in 2020,” said Hearn.
With the high taxes in the UK, that’s arguably another reason NOT to stage a hypothetical fight between Joshua and Fury there.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Wilder vs. Fury 2 rematch is able to take on Joshua later this year in Saudi.
Hearn wants Andy Ruiz Jr. to fight one of his Matchroom heavyweights
“Yeah, he could fight any of our guys,” said Hearn about Andy Ruiz Jr. being able to fight any of his Matchroom stable heavyweights. “Hrgovic, Povetkin, Joseph Parker rematch, Usyk, Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora. We’ve got Martin Bakole. There are loads of options. We’re fans of Andy Ruiz, and I think we’re going to see him in some great fights,” said Hearn.
Some of those names Hearn is mentioning aren’t going to be available in the immediate future to fight Ruiz. Usyk is supposed to be fighting Chisora next, and then after that Joshua. Hrgovic could be facing Joe Joyce next for the EBU heavyweight title. The 6’6″ Hrgovic has already lost to Joyce once in the World Series of Boxing, and he’ll likely lose again.
Eddie has already offered Andy Ruiz Jr. a seven-figure deal to face Dillian Whyte, but it doesn’t sound promising. Hearn says that offer was rejected, and he was going to increase it. It’s very likely that Hearn won’t be able to come up with a big enough offer to get former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) take the fight against Dillian.
One big obstacle is Whyte would likely want the same if not more money than what Ruiz would be getting, and the fight likely won’t generate enough money to support that. While Hearn has been sticking Whyte’s fights on Sky Box Office, he’s not the same draw as Joshua.