Boxing

Fury claims Hearn has kept Joshua from fighting him for 10 years

Tyson Fury has claimed that Eddie Hearn has ensured that Anthony Joshua would not fight him for 10 years, despite previously closing in on an undisputed clash.

The British pair now face separate heavyweight tests as Joshua defends his unified titles against Oleksandr Usyk, while the 'Gypsy King' takes on bitter rival Deontay Wilder for the third time in his career.

But providing the pair progress through their hotly-anticipated heavyweight duels, they could again try to force through a deal for an undisputed clash providing no mandatory criteria is needed to be met.

And Fury has now claimed that Hearn has spent the last decade keeping Joshua away from him.

"AJ couldn't smoke a cigarette, never mind smoke the 'Gypsy King'," Fury told The Overlap. "I will absolutely annihilate that bodybuilder. That's why Eddie Hearn's been steering around me for the past 10 years."

The pair had signed a contract for an undisputed clash to be staged in Saudi Arabia back in July, but the fight broke down along with relations after a contract dispute with Wilder was not resolved and a trilogy fight was enforced.

And the 33-year-old has admitted that he was "never optimistic" the fight would take place, irrespective of his situation with Wilder.

“I have never been optimistic about this fight happening, even when the fight was agreed initially and we were set to go at it in Saudi Arabia,” Fury continued. “But I still wasn’t optimistic about it, and guess what it never happened, but I do feel this fight will happen eventually.

“I do think sooner or later it will happen, even if we have to go completely awol and bin all the belts to make the fight happen between us for whatever reason.

“I am willing to do that, but I am not sure he is.

Fury's current rival Wilder has been labelled as "embarrassing" by fans after posting a training video ahead of his revenge mission on October 9.

But despite this label, Fury's assistant trainer Andy Lee has backed Wilder to be an extremely "dangerous" test for Fury despite predicting his fighter to come through it.

"I think it's a very dangerous fight," the ex-middleweight champion said. "I think Wilder's body will be fresh, so it's a very dangerous fight."

"He's got a lot to prove, he's going to be very motivated for this fight."

Fury is currently in a social media blackout after his training camp commenced after his new baby daughter Athena's health improved after being in critical condition after her birth.

And the Gypsy King is still confident that he can produce another dominant display in the wake of the interruptions, with his opponent being warned he must "accept" the previous defeat to try and exact his own revenge.

There are several options for the lineal heavyweight champion later down the line in his career, after his father admitted he could switch to MMA in the future, while his cousin has also refused to rule out challenging his flesh and blood for his heavyweight title down the line.

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