Eddie Hearn criticised claims from Johnny Nelson and other pundits that believe Joshua may retire if he loses to Oleksandr Usyk again.
“You’ve got a young man trying to beat the pound for pound number one and you want to say if he loses, he should retire.” Eddie Hearn told Ifl tv in an Interview today.
The size of the task certainly has been talked-up by Hearn and Joshua’s team, highlighting the challenges of facing the masterful Usyk. And in this instance, Hearn is doing so to illustrate that more attention should be made by some commentators of the shot at glory Joshua is attempting on Saturday night, rather than the implications of another setback on the treacherous pursuit of greatness in the heavyweight division.
Eddie Hearn Fires Back At Johnny Nelson On Anthony Joshua Comments
Hearn went on to present the irony of Sky being a broadcaster for the fight and Dazn tying down Joshua to a long-term deal. Suggesting that the promotion of Joshua would be more favourable, had he committed his future to stay with Sky.
“If he would have signed with Sky, you know what the hyperbole would have been this week, this is the guy, this is redemption.”
Hearn did go on to accept that it is a business and while he makes some pertinent points, a broadcaster will always do right by their best interests and won’t use time and resources on a fighter that is no longer with them.
Nonetheless, Eddie Hearn also made clear that he would not turn down an interview with Sky Sports if they were to approach him for one. The sky machine helped build the Eddie Hearn brand giving him regular airtime and in return, Hearn more than fulfilled his role as promoter and helped provide the media soundbites that sell fights.
The relationship has become understandably strained since Matchroom Boxing and Sky went their separate ways.
Hearn is entitled to legitimate grievances over Nelson’s angle that Joshua’s career is at stake when there is no shame in losing to Usyk. But as he has also not shied away from hiding in other interviews across the extended build-up to the fight, it’s a long and hard road back for Joshua should he lose for the third time.
By Harry Duffy