Matchroom Boxing chairman Barry Hearn believes there is a ’50-50 chance’ that Anthony Joshua fights Tyson Fury this year

Speaking exclusively to Betfred’s Mark Pearson, Barry Hearn said he is confident ‘the fight everybody wants to see’ will happen in the near future – if not this year then by the end of 2021.

He said: “He [AJ] wants to be boxing and he’s prepared to fight anybody tomorrow – and that includes Tyson Fury. He’s very keen on unifying the titles, and Tyson has the missing belt.

“I think we have an excellent chance of seeing it [unification fight]. I would say it’s probably 50-50 that it’s this year, if it’s not then it’s 95-5 early 2021 – but in the meantime there are problems to get over.”

Hearn also lifted the lid on rumours he has heard which could lead to Joshua-Fury happening sooner rather than later.

“At the moment I’m hearing Wilder has a slight injury and isn’t going to be able to train until May,” he said. “Does that bring about a delay (to Fury-Wilder 3)?

“Let’s take a hypothetical – if the world came back say September, and everyone’s ready to go, and Wilder’s not ready or doesn’t want the fight, then I think Joshua would drop Pulev and go for Fury because that’s the fight he wants more than anything else.”

Hearn, also the chairman of World Snooker, spoke too about yesterday’s announcement that the Betfred World Snooker Championship will – subject to government policy – now run from July 31 to August 16.

He also talked about the work of the NHS after a recent health scare – praising the work they do, especially during the current crisis.

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