Eddie Hearn doubts Tyson Fury’s retirement, but he believes a fight with Francis Ngannou will take place


Eddie Hearn isn’t buying Tyson Fury’s retirement, and he’s skeptical of a superfight with Francis Ngannou as well.

This past weekend, Fury delivered a sensational sixth-round KO of Dillian Whyte to retain his WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles, with Francis Ngannou sitting ringside. Following his win, Fury declared he was retiring from professional boxing, but called Ngannou into the ring to set up “a clash of the titans” with the UFC heavyweight champion at some point in the future. The chairman of Matchroom Sport, however, isn’t going to take Fury at face value on any count.

“I don’t really believe anything he says,” Hearn told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “But he’s also capable of doing anything. Ultimately, it’s on him. If he wants walk away from boxing, good on him. It’s a very tough sport. He’s made alot of money, he’s won the world heavyweight championship, and if he’s happy doing that, good luck to him. I just feel that his biggest fights are in front of him, the real, career-defining, legacy-defining stuff. He’s being talked about as a great fighter and a better generational than Lennox Lewis or these past fighters. But he doesn’t have the record to back it up. But he could do [it]. He could beat AJ [Anthony Joshua], or [Oleksandr] Usyk. If he wins, he will be regarded as the undisputed champion. This is Lennox Lewis’ legacy and generational greatest.

“He is a great fighter. I just feel, when you look at resumes — AJ’s got a great resume. Is he a generational great heavyweight? No. But if he can beat Usyk and he can beat Fury, he goes down as an all-time great. He’s after that. It all comes down to your desires. How bad do you want it? You might not want it any more. However, I’d love to see Fury fight AJ or fight Usyk. This is a great fight for boxing. He’s been on a fantastic run, and perhaps he is tired. However, I doubt he believes me.”

Hearn is not alone in his disbelief. With lucrative matches against Joshua//or Usyk in the future, many have wondered if Fury would stick with his guns. “The Gypsy King”, however, still has lots of time to make a decision. However, one thing Fury seemingly hasn’t changed his mind about is a superfight with Ngannou. For the last several months, both Fury and Ngannou have been publicly discussing a superfight, including throwing out ideas for hybrid rulesets, and with Ngannou set to become a free agent at the end of this year, nothing seems to be standing in the way of that fight getting made. But Hearn remains skeptical.

“It’s a big fight. I actually don’t [think it happens.] I don’t know the contractual situation,” Hearn said. Hearn said that Tyson Fury is either up or nearing being with ESPN and Ngannou with UFC. Dana could also be there to do the job, or I might just go along with Dana.

“Big fight. Big fight. It’s all about the contracts. I don’t see Dana fighting Bob Arum. How long are the contracts? Will Ngannou resign from the UFC without Dana White having any involvement or control of the fight? Ngannou’s situation is so bizarre that I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dana White have any involvement or control .”


Hearn repeatedly stated that Ngannou would resign from the UFC. He called it “almost certain” and Ngannou said his preference was to go back to the UFC. As long as the UFC is willing to allow him to continue his boxing career. If they don’t Ngannou has made it clear he will continue his career without them, and pursue a fight with Fury on his own. Hearn said that Fury could still be involved if this happens.

“I’m interested in any big fight that does big numbers,” Hearn said. “I’m not really interested as a boxing purist because [it’s a mismatch]. They’re big boys. A single punch could change the course of a fight, and I favor Dillian Whyte over Ngannou. Maybe with some mixed or hybrid rules. Because Dillian Whyte is a kickboxer, he can grapple as well.