Exclusive Interview: HEARN on how Matchroom missed out on Tyson Fury over £100k offerExclusive Interview:

January 14, 2024
4 Minute Read

In an exclusive interview with LuckyBlock.com, Barry Hearn revealed why he snubbed the chance to sign Tyson Fury before the Gypsy King turned professional back in the mid-2000s.

The founder and president of Matchroom Sport claims Anthony Joshua is concerned about the time he has left in the heavyweight division. As AJ confirms a matchup with Ngannou in March, dropping a potential fight with Fury. 

  • John Fury scared Matchroom off by demanding £100,000 for Tyson’s signature
  • AJ concerned his career is ticking down
  • I’d pay to see son Eddie Hearn messing up on I’m a Celeb 

Matchroom missed out on Tyson Fury over £100k offer

Barry Hearn revealed that he turned down the chance to sign Tyson Fury to Matchroom when he was still an amateur boxer due to the financial demands made by the star’s father John. Fury went on to sign a deal with promoter Mick Hennessy in 2008 to begin his journey towards becoming the lineal heavyweight champion;

Barry Hearn: “I’ll let you in on a secret that not very many people know; I nearly signed Tyson Fury years before he turned professional. I was at a fight in Newcastle. Tyson – big lad, great name. That was my first reaction; big lad, great name. I could see money rolling in. John, his dad, said ‘my boy’s going to turn pro. He wants to sign with you. But we want a £100,000 signing fee.’ In those days, and this is going back a number of years, that was a lot of money. I mean, that was like Olympic champion stuff. This kid was untested, but obviously huge. 

“A few years later, of course, Eddie had the chance to sign him in Monte Carlo. That was when Tyson was going through a very sad time with his wife. I just don’t think Eddie believed that the transformation that Tyson eventually completed was possible. We’ve got it wrong. And you have to take your hat off to Tyson Fury. He turned his life around and he became the number one in the world. I don’t know how many people turned down the Beatles, but put us in that bracket.”

Anthony Joshua realises clock is ticking on his career

Anthony Joshua’s mega fight with Tyson Fury has plagued heavyweight boxing over the last decade, with AJ’s camp insisting Tyson is the problem. Hearn insists AJ taking other opportunities such as Ngannou is due to the knowledge that his career might not last too much longer;

Barry Hearn: “I think the easiest person in the world to involve in a fight is Anthony Joshua. He’s not a world champion at the moment, he’s a businessman as well as being a boxer. And he realises that the clock is ticking – he’s very keen to fight anyone and everyone as soon as possible. I’m a fight fan. I want to see him fight Tyson Fury, I want to see him fight Deontay Wilder. But the fans have to understand that we’re in the world of economics and big dollars. So our input is actually – I wouldn’t say it’s totally ignored – but largely ignored. There’s a much bigger picture.

“Fights of that stature are hundred-plus million dollar fights. The actual fan involvement is important, but the timing of it will be left inevitably to those people. Don’t forget we’re not talking about two boxers, we’re talking about two multi-millionaires fighting each other. Each of them has their own schedule, their own desires, their own ego.”

I’d pay to see Eddie Hearn on I’m A Celebrity 

Eddie Hearn has risen to fame over the past decade, amassing over 1.3million followers on Instagram in the process and Barry reckons his son is the perfect candidate to go into the jungle on I’m a Celeb, as he would be so far out of his comfort zone it would make for incredible viewing;

Barry Hearn: “I would pay money to get him on I’m a Celebrity because I would just get so much entertainment watching him mess it all up. I think we’d love it, everyone would love it. We have a great family experience. He’s a friend as well as a son. Our family takes the piss out of each other all the time, especially when something doesn’t go right. But he won’t have the time to go on I’m a Celebrity because of the way he’s working at the moment and we’ll be working like that for the next few years. It’s impossible.

“Eddie made a really good point the other day, and it wasn’t being big headed – probably misunderstood – where he said ‘if you ask a man in the street to name three people in boxing. They would name Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Eddie Hearn.’ That is a statement of where our boxers stand in public recognition, but also a credit to the work he’s put in and the profile he’s created for himself.”

Owen Fulda

Owen is an experienced and established sports journalist who has worked in the industry for well over a decade. Having graduated from News Associates, he has subsequently featured in publications from the UK to Australia, including the Daily Star and…

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