Anthony Joshua fuels conspiracy theory over collapse of Tyson Fury fight
Anthony Joshua is convinced Tyson Fury's team never believed promoter Eddie Hearn would secure their £150million undisputed fight – and set him up as a scapegoat.
Joshua and Fury had agreed a deal to fight in Saudi Arabia on August 14, but when Deontay Wilder's arbitration case ruled in favour of a Fury-Wilder trilogy fight, they both had to pursue other opponents.
Now Joshua is expected to fight his mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk towards the end of the summer with Fury's trilogy with Wilder pencilled in for July 24 in Las Vegas.
And Hearn revealed Joshua's reaction when he broke the news.
"These people just expected you to fail," he told Behind the Gloves. "They wanted you to fail and they didn't think you could pull it off but you did.
"They were going to use you as a scapegoat, say 'Matchroom couldn't deliver it' and move on, but we did deliver it and Tyson Fury came out and announced the fight.
"He spoke to Saudi Arabia and he was happy with the deal, we'd already signed an initial contract.
"You can see by the internet responses that you've got to be quite thick if you can't realise there's one team that one team was trying to make this fight happen and one team that wasn't."
Joshua, aside from engaging in a very public war of words on Twitter with Fury, has remained relatively quiet since the fight was cancelled last week.
But Hearn has been vocal in his unhappiness with Team Fury's handling of the event, which would have been the biggest fight of either man's careers.
"I saw Frank Warren's comments that I knew the arbitration was going on," he added. "Of course I did, but we were told from the start that would have absolutely no bearing.
"Bob Arum was saying 'don't worry, don't worry I've got it all under control,' but if you look back and realise the negativity on day one from their side, saying it won't happen in the summer or that we wouldn't get the money for a site deal.
"We kept ticking those boxes, and they had to do something."
Fury will now fight Wilder at Allegiant Stadium while Joshua is expected to fight Usyk on August 21 or 28.
However, Hearn has said that the 2012 Olympic gold medalist may surrender his belt after growing tired of fighting mandatories on a constant basis.
"The WBO ordered the [Usyk] fight," Hearn explained. "And we've got until next Tuesday or something to reach an agreement or it will go to purse bids.
"It is the most likely fight for us, we are talking to other people as well about other fights, but the whole aim is to become undisputed and all AJ has ever done is try to make the undisputed fight and box off mandatories to keep the belts.
"The feeling now is kind of 'how much longer do you have to do that?'"
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