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Anthony Joshua's two fight-deal with Tyson Fury freezes Deontay Wilder out of world title scene for over a year, says Eddie Hearn

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Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury not fighting at least once in the UK would be 'a shame', says promoter Eddie Hearn

Anthony Joshua's two fight-deal with Tyson Fury would mean that Deontay Wilder will not receive a world title shot for over a year, says promoter Eddie Hearn.

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WBC champion Fury announced this month that he had ended his interest in a trilogy clash with Wilder after failing to agree terms and would instead seek a homecoming fight in December.

Unified champion Joshua returns in the same month, defending his WBA, IBF and WBO belts against Kubrat Pulev on December 12, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and Hearn believes the British rivals can then finalise two blockbuster fights next year.

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Joshua says victory over Kubrat Pulev could set up huge fights in the future
Tyson Fury
Image: Tyson Fury is set to announce an opponent for his next fight in Britain

"Wilder? I don't know any fighter that wouldn't want the rematch," Hearn told Sky Sports. "But I want to hear him. He's gone missing.

"[Fury's American promoter] Bob Arum says the contract has expired? What sort of contract was this? We're coming off a global pandemic and the force majeure would cover them. It's all really weird.

"Wilder has missed the boat. He won't get a shot at the world title until 2022 onwards because we are going to have two fights [with Fury] next year if we beat Pulev.

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"Maybe he is done. You wouldn't hold it against him. But I don't understand the situation."

Joshua has even questioned Wilder's prolonged silence, playfully asking if the American is plotting his revenge.

Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder
Image: Wilder was stopped in the seventh round by Fury in February

"The world is cruel. You've got to have a thick skin," Joshua told Sky Sports News.

"Either he's putting together a master plan - he's in a lab right now, with his science glasses on, studying Fury's every move. Either he's doing that, or he's sitting at the edge of that lake, with his head in his hands and thinking, 'What's going on?'

"One minute you're on top of the world, and the next minute you're not. That's the name of the game we're in."

Hearn hopes to stage the two Joshua-Fury fights on dates around April to June and November to December, preferably for the status as undisputed world heavyweight champion.

But the Matchroom boss has revealed how Joshua was unwavering in his desire to regain his world titles in a rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr, with Hearn raising doubts about whether Wilder will even resume his own career.

He told Sky Sports: "AJ didn't say too much apart from 'I want the rematch'.

"This is what I would like to hear from Wilder.

"But he's his own man. If this guy has earned his money and is going to walk off into the sunset, then good luck to him.

"But you also need pride and legacy, that's key."

Can Usyk derail Joshua-Fury fight?

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Oleksandr Usyk is confident in his ability despite the threat of Derek Chisora ahead of Saturday's heavyweight fight.

Oleksandr Usyk could complicate plans for the undisputed clash, if he defeats Derek Chisora this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, to stay on course for a WBO mandatory title shot at Joshua.

A blockbuster battle with Brit rival Fury remains the top priority for Joshua, but Hearn says his fighter would not shy away from a showdown with Usyk, a fellow gold medallist at the London 2012 Games.

"If Usyk wins, and Joshua beats Pulev, the ruling states that Joshua should fight Usyk next," said Hearn.

"But if Joshua wins he will apply to the WBO and say: 'I would like to fight Fury for the undisputed title'.

"The WBO can say yes or no. If they say no, we go to Usyk and ask: 'Will you let us [fight Fury] maybe in April'.

"I really want AJ vs Fury to be for the undisputed title. The belts are important to Joshua. He hasn't accumulated these belts and paid the sanctioning fees just to throw them away. He wants to be undisputed.

"But we also respect Usyk as mandatory challenger.

"AJ would like to fight Usyk as well. He thinks it's an amazing challenge. He thinks Usyk is a great fighter."

Watch Usyk vs Chisora on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Even if you aren't a Sky TV subscriber you can book and watch it here.

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