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Anthony Joshua is not looking for a step-aside deal, Eddie Hearn confirms

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anthony-joshua-matchroom-ftr Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing

Eddie Hearn denied that a deal has been reached for Anthony Joshua to step aside for a fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury.

Reports at the start of this week suggested the former heavyweight champion was ready to accept £15 million in order to forgo his rematch against the Ukrainian that had been expected for late April or early May, which has since been denied by the 32-year-old Briton.

Speaking on the DAZN Boxing Show, Hearn made it clear that no decision had been made, and that any such decision would be made by Joshua.

“I think that AJ, from his POV: he’s always been the boss, he’s always been the guy who makes the calls, who makes the decision,” he said. “There’s been a lot of speculation in newspapers that a deal’s done. I think that sometimes that gets his back up a little bit. 

“‘When a deal’s done, you'll hear it from me.’” 

Hearn continued to deny any deal has been reached by acknowledged that negotiations have started, but Joshua would be reluctant to give up the chance to fight with Usyk.

“There’s definitely no deal done for him to step aside,” he began.

“There are conversations, and I’ll have those conversations 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 makes sense... This is much deeper than a stepaside fee. The money is something that needs to be negotiated. 

“This is the plan. All he wants to do is win the heavyweight title back. Right now he has a cast iron opportunity to do that ,a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk. Any other plan has to be solid, not hopefully you get the winner.

“He’s not out there looking for another plan, looking for a stepaside. He will always call the shots. He’s made it clear what that shot looks like.

“There has been an offer, there have been several discussions with myself. I can’t rule it out, it’s not my job. AJ is the boss. He’s very smart about the plan. He won’t want to do it. 

“Anthony has never ducked ayone, he won’t want to let one person think he’s ducking that challenge. Sometimes you have to think with your head. There is a smart play here somewhere, but Anthony is not about the money. If the plan makes sense from a development point of view, working with a new trainer, maybe having a fight first. 

“He’s about legacy. All he’s thinking about is Oleksandr Usyk.”

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