Anthony Joshua could fight Tyson Fury without favoured trainer in his corner, Eddie Hearn reveals

Anthony Joshua may have to take on Tyson Fury in the biggest fight in British boxing history without his trainer Robert McCracken in his corner.

That is the latest revelation from promoter Eddie Hearn who insists the world heavyweight unification will not be dictated by McCracken’s potential involvement at the Olympics in Tokyo which could clash with the fight.

McCracken is the performance director of GB Boxing and has been instrumental in the most successful period ever for elite British amateur boxing. Since his arrival in November 2009, Great Britain have won eight Olympic medals among many others at various different tournaments.

The most famous of all was the gold clinched by Joshua at London 2012 and McCracken was instrumental in the Londoner’s journey from novice amateur to Britain’s golden boy. The 52-year-old is now the Joshua’s trainer as a professional and he juggles the role with his position in the amateur code. However, he might have a tough decision to make with the long-awaited Battle of Britain between Joshua and Fury likely to take place in late July or early August, which would almost certainly clash with the Tokyo Olympics which run from July 23 until August 8.

But Hearn said: “We don’t have a choice. There are too many people and things to fit around already with the fighters, trainers, countries, time zones, the Olympics.

“There is all this stuff to plan so whatever date we are given by the site is the date that we will go with. Someone is spending a lot of money so we have to go whenever they say.

“The plan is to plan accordingly, I know AJ and Rob have been talking accordingly so I am sure they will work it out.

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“It will depend on timings, the date we get given is when the fight takes place and the guys know it will be around the Olympics, it could be inappropriate but it is the biggest fight in boxing and the biggest moment in AJ’s career so we have to work it out.”

When it was put to Hearn that McCracken may opt to miss the Olympics in favour of a potentially more lucrative trip with Joshua, the promoter said: “I know Rob takes his position very seriously, he loves the job and the kids so it’s not ideal but we can’t move it a couple of weeks either side.”

Hearn also insists that everything has finally been agreed for IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua to face undefeated WBC king Fury in a showdown expected to take place in the middle east in an indoor arena with a crowd of 20,000.“I have missed a couple of deadlines so I don’t want to keep coming up with new ones,” he said.

“I kept saying ‘two weeks, two weeks’, because that is what I hoped it would be, but I was probably being a bit naïve, because of the size of the fight and size of the deal, but we’re there.

“We all know now that both sides have paid the contract, they have both accepted one specific proposal and we are finalising that with contracts going backwards and forwards and tiny, tiny points getting ironed out.

“We haven’t finalised an exact date, July 24 is the rough date but it may leak into early August but no later than that.

“The Olympics will be a different timezone so it’s not really in the mindset with our scheduling. I know the Olympics is a huge event but I see them very differently.

“I know a lot of people won’t agree with me but I personally see this as bigger than the Olympics. I just feel it is bigger than the Olympics, for Britain, because the world will stop to watch and it’s between two Brits.

“It’s impossible to schedule anything without clashing with something, it’s impossible so we will go on the date we are told to go on. It will be peak time UK, middle of the night in Tokyo so there will not be a TV clash.”

Fury is currently in Las Vegas, where his close friend Billy Joe Saunders is preparing to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on May 8.

Hearn had grown worried that Fury might decide not to face Joshua next and take a tune-up fight this summer instead. So the Matchroom boss decided to track the Gypsy King down in Sin City.

“I was in Vegas too and I knew where Fury was staying,” he explained. “I just DM’ed him on Instagram and asked if he fancied a cuppa.

“I ran round there and we just had 10 minutes in his suite but it was good to hear how dialled in he is for the fight.

“When I saw the comments from him and his dad, I wanted reassurance that, when I deliver it, they will want it.

“I have spoken to Fury’s team and [his American promoters] Top Rank and told them to hang in there, because I will get it done.

“Once they saw the offer, they felt a bit of positivity and believe the fight is happening and it makes for a better relationship.

“I think they are happy now because everyone has got what they wanted.”

One contract point which can often be a sticking point in a fight where both boxers are champions is who walks into the ring first and who walks second.

But Hearn revealed they may have come up with a way to avoid any arguments there.

“You will see,” he said. “Maybe they will walk at the same time. It would be unique. From different sides of the arena. That would solve a problem.

“What I saw from the meeting with Fury – and I know this is the case with AJ – is that they both just want to get the fight on. In the world today, people are more willing to be accepting and understanding and rather than muck about with it, let’s just get this done. So I don’t think we will have any problems.

“The walk in at the same time is genuinely something I have thought about as a spectacle rather than a contractual issue.”

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