‘They deluded themselves’: Eddie Hearn criticised by Deontay Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel for pushing ahead with Anthony Joshua mega-fight against Tyson Fury while legal matters were still ongoing regarding trilogy bout

  • Anthony Joshua was set to fight Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia on August 14 
  • But an arbitration ruling in the US means Fury will now face Deontay Wilder again
  • Now, Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel has criticised AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn
  • Finkel says it wasn’t sensible to push ahead while an arbitration was ongoing

Eddie Hearn was wrong for ploughing ahead with plans for Anthony Joshua‘s unification bout against Tyson Fury, says Deontay Wilder‘s co-manager Shelly Finkel. 

A mega all-British bout between AJ and the Gypsy King was agreed for August 14 in Saudi Arabia, in what would be one of the biggest fights in heavyweight boxing history. 

However, an arbitration ruling in the US ordered Fury to fight Wilder for a third time and now that trilogy clash is set to take place in Las Vegas on July 27 – and Finkel believes Hearn was unwise for announcing plans with legal matters still ongoing.  

Deontay Wilder's (R) co-manager Shelly Finkel (L) has criticised promoter Eddie Hearn

Deontay Wilder’s (R) co-manager Shelly Finkel (L) has criticised promoter Eddie Hearn 

Hearn (R) planned for Joshua's mega-bout against Tyson Fury but that has been delayed

Hearn (R) planned for Joshua’s mega-bout against Tyson Fury but that has been delayed 

‘I don’t think you have an arbitration out there and you go say, “Well, we’ve made a deal already,” said Finkel, as reported by World Boxing News.  

‘That to me is just not the logical way to do things, and then after that, you don’t hear Eddie [Hearn, Joshua’s promoter] say anything.

‘The reason, obviously someone told him, “You better not say things, because if Fury fights you, your guy instead, you have massive, massive liability.” You have induced a breach of a contract adjudicated in court. You induced him to do it by hanging Joshua out there for it.

‘It became evident to Eddie because he’s smart, I better shut up, and I had nothing to do with it.

‘But they knew there was an arbitration case. Everyone knew it, and there was at one point, Arum went for a summary [quicker] judgment. They denied it. Once denied, you’ve got to know something the judge is thinking because he would have given you an indication the case was over. 

Fury beat Deontay Wilder in February 2020 but the American now has a chance for revenge

Fury beat Deontay Wilder in February 2020 but the American now has a chance for revenge 

‘You have to have your self logic. You’ve got to say, “Look, even if it’s a one percent chance I’m going to lose, it’s a one percent chance [that Fury won’t win].”

‘I can’t say, “It’s not going to happen.” They deluded themselves. Al and I just continued to press forward. You didn’t hear us in the papers. You didn’t hear us saying anything.’

A potential bout between Joshua and Fury is now up in the air, with AJ now likely to fight unbeaten Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk this summer.  



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