THE rivalry between WBA and WBO heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury and IBF champion Anthony Joshua was simmering. The two British heavyweight world champions could have engaged in one of the biggest fights in the sport. But now Fury is out of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, due to an undisclosed medical condition, Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn now doubts the Joshua fight will ever happen.

“I want Tyson Fury to fight Wladimir Klitschko because we want to fight Tyson Fury. It’s a unification between two Brits for the heavyweight titles. It’s gold dust,” Hearn said. “The problem is now if he loses his belts and comes back, it’s a much harder negotiation. The public don’t trust that he’s going to turn up so all throughout the build-up people are going, ‘Is he really going to fight though?’ His credibility is at rock bottom.”

“The first thing I’d do if I was Peter Fury I would go straight with the legals to the WBA,” he added. “It’s going to be really messy… So maybe Fury does that and the whole thing’s a mess and it takes a year.

“But I feel sorry for Wladimir Klitschko, he’s not getting any younger, he’s been training and training like a demon to get his belts back and there will be a bit of him that’s gutted that it’s not Tyson Fury. Because I know he’s a competitor and he’s got enough money. He just really wanted to beat Tyson Fury and get his belts back and I don’t think he’ll ever get a chance to do that.”

Hearn wondered if Tyson would ever box again, speculating, “I think he’s going to turn around and go no, I’m done. How do you come back from this? If you were fit and you struggled and you were struggling to get fit, how do you [potentially] get stripped, have these other problems, plus your fitness problems then look at yourself in the mirror and go right and go through those six weeks.”