It doesn’t take much to provoke a reaction out of WBC champion Tyson Fury and boxing promoter Eddie Hearn knows as much. This all makes the red flag that Hearn has been waving at Fury all the more curious, after he said that Fury’s record is laughable when compared to that of Anthony Joshua. 

Joshua, you see, is Hearn’s ultimate cash cow and the 41-year-old promoter knows that a potential blockbuster bout with Fury would break every financial record ever set in the history of boxing. But, first, Hearn needs to antagonize Fury to the point where he accepts the fight with a point to prove. 

It’s a dangerous game that Hearn is playing, though, given that Anthony Joshua has more chance of winning this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year award than beating Tyson Fury. Indeed, AJ’s BBC Spoty Odds are currently at 50/1, which may well give you all the context you need to understand the mountain he will have to climb against Fury in order to win.

It seems hard to imagine that Fury won’t rise to the bait after the recent taunting but the truth is that Eddie Hearn’s logic about the two fighters’ records is entirely flawed and, if anything, extremely disrespectful towards Fury, who has battled career-ending demons. 

Granted, Fury may have fought some lesser opponents in recent times but that’s because he had been out of the ring for over two years. It is completely understandable that his management team would advise him to take some tune-up fights before picking up where he left off. That was against Wladimir Klitschko in Düsseldorf, where he became heavyweight champion of the world.

Fury was the first man to beat Klitschko, on a night that will live long in the memories of all boxing purists the world over. 

Furthermore, Fury also agreed to fight Deontay Wilder, despite being some way off completely match fit. The 32-year-old was still carrying a lot of excess weight and was warned not to go to America and put his unbeaten record on the line. If his victory in Dusseldorf was one to remember, then his performance at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles was one to never forget. 

Fury outboxed Wilder for 12 rounds and showed great heart in coming back from being knocked down with only seconds to spare. Cruelly, the fight was adjudged to have been a draw but that didn’t halt Fury from stopping Wilder in seven rounds only a year later to take the WBC championship, as well as staying unbeaten. He is the only man out of Wilder and Joshua to still have that record. 

Now, which part of the above does Eddie Hearn find laughable? 

On the contrary, Tyson is a champion, not only in the ring but also in the fight against mental health as he leads the charge and helps others not to feel alone. There is very little to snigger at when it comes to Tyson Fury’s story of overcoming the most sincere adversity and then proving he is the best boxer in the world. 

Eddie Hearn is going to get his fight but Anthony Joshua won’t be thanking him for it.