For the boxing fans that were hoping to see unbeaten Hughie Fury as the next opponent for IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for his fight on November 26, it’s not going to happen. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says that he’s far apart in the negotiations for what Fury wants and what he’s willing to give for a fight against Joshua on November 26.
Hearn says Hughie wants Joshua type money for the fight, and that’s not reasonable given that he’s a voluntary challenger. So instead of making the Joshua vs. Hughie fight on November 26, Hearn is saying that unbeaten #1 IBF mandatory challenger Joseph Parker is the leading candidate to get the fight against Joshua. Hearn says that Parker is being “reasonable” in what he’s asking for in the negotiations, and he feels he’s actually trying to make the fight. As such, the 6’4” Parker might get the fight simply by him not pricing himself out.
“He’s agreed to let the fight take place but for outrageous money,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Hughie’s trainer/father Peter Fury giving him the green light to fight Joshua next. “I thought the numbers I was talking were huge and they don’t. They were looking at the type of money Anthony Joshua is making for his fight, probably a 60-40 split, which for a voluntary challenger is just not going to happen. We’re miles apart right now. Joseph Parker is the favorite to meet AJ. We thought of putting him in with [David] Price, but he seems to be the only one who is really standing around saying, ‘Yes,’ being reasonable, being sensible and trying to make the fight. It could be AJ-Parker on November 26.”
I’m sure that Hearn would love to match Joshua against the light hitting Hughie Fury, because it’s a slam dunk win for Joshua and an easy payday. I don’t think it would be a good fight form the boxing fans stand point, because it would likely be a dreadful mismatch. It would be one of those pay-per-view milking fights where Joshua and Hearn make money off the British pay-per-view in a fight that would lack competitiveness.
Hughie is TOTALLY unproven as a heavyweight, and he looked terrible in his recent fight against high level journeyman Fred Kassi. Hughie ran out of gas after five rounds, and was starting to take punishment in the 6th round when he suffered a cut, which forced the fight to be stopped in the 7th.
Whether the Joshua-Parker fight happens in November will likely come down to whether Hearn is ready to risk Joshua’s hide right now by putting him in with Parker. That’s a risky fight, and I’m not sure that Hearn will want to make it happen right now. I see Hearn as wanting to get as much PPV money as possible before that fight takes place just in case Joshua loses. At least if Joshua gets knocked out by Parker, he could have gotten one more payday on pay-per-view if Hearn matches him against a soft target like Hughie in November. That fight is money in the bank for Joshua being that Hughie can’t punch, and fades when pressured.
Personally, I think it would be a really bad product for the pay-per-view market. It’s a fight that could anger the boxing public, because they might purchase the fight thinking that Hughie actually has a chance of winning or at least being competitive. When the fight immediately looks worse than the Joshua vs. Charles Martin match-up, I think the fans are going to be upset. The thing is if the boxing public would just do their homework and watch some of Hughie’s recent fights, they’d know that he has no chance against Joshua. They could then save their money by not purchasing the mismatch.
Joseph Parker has a fight on October 1 against 34-year-old Alexander Dimitrenko. It’ll be an easy fight for Parker most likely. The only risk involved in a Parker-Dimitrenko fight is the risk of injury. Parker needs to get out of that fight injury free for him to be able to get back inside the ring in November to challenge Joshua for his International Boxing Federation title.
Hearn was originally thinking of having Parker fight the 6’8” David Price on Joshua’s undercard on November 26 in order to get him some badly needed visibility, but it now looks like he’s changing his mind. Hearn is talking about wanting to match Shannon Briggs against Price for the card. I doubt that Price will say yes to that fight because it would be a risky fight for him.
“I like Price vs. Shannon Briggs. I’m going to talk to them,” said Hearn.
Hearn is also interested in having Tony Thompson vs. Price. Given that Price has twice been knocked out by the 6’5” Thompson, I would be very surprised if Price agreed to the fight, even though Thompson is clearly not the fighter that he was back in 2013 when he twice beat him. It would be a risky fight for Price, but it might be worth it in order to increase his confidence level. At least if Price could avenge his two losses to Thompson, he could get closure from those fights by avenging the losses.