Barry Hearn reveals he nearly signed Tyson Fury years before became a professional boxer

It's hard to imagine anyone not taking a chance on that kind of talent knowing what we know now.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 15th January 2024

Matchroom Boxing founder and president, Barry Hearn, has revealed that he could have signed boxing sensation Tyson Fury years before his son Eddie reportedly had the chance to do the same — and when he wasn’t yet a professional, no less.

While Eddie Hearn recently explained how he had the chance to sign Tyson Fury during his appearance on Gary Neville’s ‘Stick to Football’ series on The Overlap YouTube channel, it turns out his dad and Matchroom godfather Barry also could have signed the Manc boxing star in his very early days.

Although Eddie detailed how he and his team ultimately passed up on the opportunity back in 2017 due to concerns over ‘The Gyspy King’s weight, according to Hearn Sr., the sporting promotion company might have lucked in on his incredible career years prior were it not for some big demands.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Lucky Block Casino, the 75-year-old insisted that not only did both he and his son “get it wrong”, but that Matchroom Sport could have secured Fury’s signature for what would now be seen as an absolute steal in the world of professional boxing.

As the OBE and former Professional Darts Corporation chair recalls, long before the subsequent meeting in Monaco roughly seven years ago, he first came across the Wythenshawe-born heavyweight at a fight in Newcastle, at which point his first impression was: “Big lad, great name”.


Hearn goes on to joke that he “could see money going around” in his head once his father John Fury said he was going pro and wanted to sign with him, but confessed that the terms were simply too rich for his blood when they demanded a £100,000 signing-on fee”.

Reiterating that such a number would have been a lot of money for someone who was still an unproven talent, especially back in those days, he held his hands up and admitted, “I made the first mistake” — little did he know his son and successor would go on to make the same one years later.


Defending their latter position that they simply didn’t believe the current WBC champion was capable of recovering his career in 2017, when Fury famously suffered from bouts of depression and weight gain, Hearn simply added: “You can have to take your hat off to Tyson Fury, he turned his life around”.

Read more:

Barry went on to discuss the likes of Anthony Joshua too and his own hopes of regaining that boxing supremacy that he was on course for, insisting that he wants him to secure the big fights against the likes of Wilder, Fury and more.

As for the 35-year-old fighter himself, Fury looks to have finally booked his long-talked-about and heavily drawn-out match against Oleksandr Usyk.


Is it actually going to happen this time?

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — Lucky Block Casino/paul62_2017 (via Flickr)