Eddie Hearn has accused Tyson Fury of only caring about ‘the money’ ahead of his lucrative crossover bout with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia, while claiming he cannot go down as an all-time great until he defeats Oleksandr Usyk.
Fury, who has reigned as WBC heavyweight champion for over three years, is set to collide with MMA star Ngannou in a 10-round contest on October 29.
Given Ngannou’s lack of competitive boxing experience – with the former UFC heavyweight king making his debut in Saudi – the Gypsy King has drawn heavy criticism for his latest opponent choice after failing to agree terms with Oleksandr Usyk earlier this year.
Three-belt champion Usyk appeared to call his rival’s bluff in March by accepting a questionable 70-30 purse split out of his favour to seal their highly-anticipated showdown, which would have crowned a first undisputed heavyweight champion since 2000.
However, Fury then threw another curveball into the equation by calling for a rematch clause to be taken out of their contract, a negotiable neither team could agree on before the fight ultimately fell by the wayside.
Eddie Hearn has accused Tyson Fury of only caring about ‘the money’ and disregarding legacy
Fury is facing MMA star Francis Ngannou (pictured) in a Saudi Arabia exhibition on October 29
The WBC chief briefly turned his attention to Anthony Joshua after the breakdown in talks with Usyk, only for his long-time domestic rival to snub the chance to face him in September with a potential Deontay Wilder blockbuster on the horizon.
And when asked by Piers Morgan why Joshua and Fury have not yet met in the ring Hearn took aim at the latter for disregarding ‘legacy’.
Boxing fans were desperate to see him lock horns with Oleksandr Usyk (pictured) instead
‘I think it’s a lot of things,’ AJ’s promoter said during an interview with Morgan on Talk TV. ‘I think Tyson Fury, I’m not saying is slowly being found out, but he’s not always as truthful as he appears on Instagram.
‘Timing is something. I think television rights and partnerships are something. Instagram is something. Ego is very much something.
‘Everybody wants to see it, and on August 12 Anthony Joshua will fight Dillian Whyte on DAZN, after that he will fight Deontay Wilder in Saudi Arabia, and then after that it has to be Tyson Fury.
‘Tyson Fury turned down the Oleksandr Usyk fight, the most important fight in boxing, the undisputed heavyweight world championship, to fight an MMA fighter who’s never had a fight before in his life – also in Saudi Arabia.
‘We’ve got to be honest, Tyson Fury cares about one thing only… the money. Don’t talk to me about legacy, don’t talk to me about undisputed.’
Morgan then interjected to argue that Fury has beaten ‘everybody out there’, to which Hearn replied: ‘Who? Who everybody out there?
‘So he’s beat Klitschko and Wilder – that’s his wins. He needs to beat Usyk and AJ and then we can talk about him – as I believe he is – as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
Hearn hit out at Fury during an interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV on Wednesday
His man, Anthony Joshua, is gearing up for a rematch with Dillian Whyte on August 12
‘Listen, he’s unbelievable. What he’s come back from, incredible, couldn’t commend him more. But to create a legacy, to create that history, to go down as a modern day great, to put yourself up with [Muhammad] Ali, with Lennox Lewis, with Joe Frazier, those guys, he’s got to beat Usyk.
‘And he’s got to beat Anthony Joshua, but particularly Usyk who’s the undisputed champion.’
Joshua is gearing up for a pivotal rematch with old foe Whyte in just over a fortnight, almost seven years on from their epic first meeting.
After being wobbled himself early on, AJ knocked out his former amateur rival in the seventh round of their first professional encounter in December 2015.
Now he is set to reignite their feud on August 12 at the O2 Arena, with Wilder waiting in the wings should he emerge unscathed.