Eddie Hearn predicted that an undisputed fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk is not dead yet, but raised doubts over Fury’s desire to make a fight.
Usyk is the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion, with Fury holding the WBC strap, the other major belt at the weight.
The pair have been in talks, public and private, for a fight on April 29 but the chances of that clash going ahead now look slim.
Fury demanded a 70-30 split to which the Ukrainian acquiesced, but the talks then fell apart over a rematch clause.
Usyk has mandatory defences on the cards if a fight cannot be nailed down with Fury, but speaking to the DAZN Boxing Show, Matchroom chief Hearn believes a deal could still be resuscitated.
He told Tony Bellew: “I think, I don’t believe it’s dead, I think it’s probably dead for April 29, it’s only five weeks away, but you never know with Tyson Fury. I felt before he wouldn’t be taking the Deontay Wilder fight and he did.
“I think there’s a lot of similarities here with the AJ stuff and the Usyk stuff. I can't believe Oleksandr Usyk has accepted 70-30 in his spot, fair play to him.
“Now he’s almost called Fury’s bluff after Fury called his bluff, now they’re in the deeper points and can’t reach an agreement.
“With the AJ stuff, AJ accepted 60-40 but said the date must be Dec. 17 and Tyson Fury said it has to be December 3 or there’s no fight, because I’m fighting Usyk in February or March.
“I could not believe they would not give him the extra two weeks. I think they thought there was no way Anthony Joshua would accept that fight on December 3, coming off the Usyk fight.
“AJ said f*** it, we’ll go December 3. We went back, lo and behold, things fall through. Coincidences, similarities, you tell me?”
Hearn continued: “For me, Usyk has proved that he will take the short end. Don’t forget Frank Warren said it was an easy fight to make, 50-50.
“My perception [on whether the fight happens] would be 50-50. For sure Fury is the bigger name commercially but Usyk has all the belts.
“We’ll have to see. Who do you believe, Tyson Fury or Oleksandr Usyk?
“Usyk obviously doesn’t care as much about money, but he is a man of principle, and when you feel you’ve been disrespected, you walk away, out of principle. As much as he wants this fight, he’s the kind of man out of principle, who’d say no.”