EDDIE HEARN has confirmed that Anthony Joshua has been offered a separate fee for Tyson Fury to fight Alexander Usyk.
But the promoter insisted there was no agreement to allow Usik to pull out of their contracted rematch, instead unifying the heavyweight belt with Fury.
Hearn told DAZN Boxing: “There’s been an offer, I’ve had several discussions with him.
“I can’t rule it out, it’s not my job. AJ is the boss. He’s very smart about planning. He wouldn’t want to do that.”
Joshua, 32, lost to Usyak, 34, in September, but his contract included the right to an immediate rematch.
This was used, but shortly after, negotiations took place for Ukrainians to fight the Fury in the Middle East, for the undisputed crown in the Middle East.
For integration to get the green light, AJ and Fury’s WBC mandated challenger Dillian White, 33, would have to pay to sit outside.
And Hearn acknowledges that more than just financial guarantees will be needed, such as a victorious fight between Fury and Usyak.
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He said: “Certainly there’s no deal for him to step aside. Talks are going on, and I’ll have that conversation with him.”
“In his mind, he wants to rematch Oleksandr Usyk, and until the time comes that a long-form contract comes to us, and is understandable.
“It’s a lot deeper than a separate fee. Money is something that needs to be negotiated. That’s the plan.
“All he wants to do is win back the heavyweight title. Right now all he has to do is a cast iron rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
“Any other plan has to be solid, don’t expect you to find a winner.
“He’s not looking for another plan, looking one step at a time. He’ll always call the shots. He’s made it very clear what that shot looks like.”
Hearn insists that AJ’s eyes are only on Usyk and to avenge the loss, but admits that he should keep an open mind to any other options.
And that could include charging a fee to step aside and organizing an interim fight in the meantime, potentially with a new coach.
A proposal has come, I have had many discussions. I can’t dismiss it, it’s not my job. AJ is the boss. He’s very smart.
Eddie Hearn is getting money aside on Anthony Joshua
Hearn explained: “Anthony has never ducked anyone, he wouldn’t want to let a person think he was surviving that challenge.
“Sometimes you have to think with your mind. There’s a smart play here somewhere, but Anthony’s not all about the money.
“If the plan makes sense from a development standpoint, then working with a new instructor might be the fight first.
“He is about inheritance. He is thinking only of Alexander Usyk.”
A report in The Telegraph claimed that Joshua was ready to accept a £15m step-apart fee – only to confirm that no such deal had been accepted.
Hearn said: “I think AJ, from his point of view, he’s always been the boss, he’s always been the one who calls, the one who makes the decisions.
“There is a lot of speculation in the newspapers that a deal has been done. I think sometimes it makes his back go up a bit.
“‘When a deal is done, you’ll hear it from me.'”