Eddie Hearn’s Battle to Keep Anthony Joshua Relevant

By Paul Magno on December 4, 2018
Eddie Hearn’s Battle to Keep Anthony Joshua Relevant
“Never mind anybody, me and this man here is the two best heavyweights on the planet.”

It would be smart business for Hearn and Team Joshua to bust up a Wilder-Fury rematch and scoop up one of the participants—preferably Wilder…

Not too long after WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champ Tyson Fury battled to split decision draw at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn hopped on a flight to America to do what any good promoter would do—win back main stage placement for his guy.

Last Saturday night, Wilder and Fury upstaged Hearn’s 3-belt champ by fighting one another after the impression was cast that Joshua wanted nothing to do with either. And to rub some salt into what should be an open wound, both big men openly mocked the UK’s heavyweight cash cow after their tussle.

“Never mind anybody, me and this man here is the two best heavyweights on the planet…I stepped up…There’s another certain heavyweight out there,” Fury said in his post-fight interview Saturday night, right before making a wing-flapping chicken impersonation. “Chicken, Chicken…Joshua where are ya? Where are ya AJ?”

Wilder and Fury, predictably, made Joshua look like a fifth wheel on Saturday or, at best, an apprehensive third part of a makeshift round robin tournament.

That’s why Hearn rushed to wedge his guy back into the conversation.

“First we need to find out what is happening with a Wilder-Fury rematch and whether the rematch clause we are hearing about is what it seems,” the Matchroom Boxing bossman told the UK’s Daily Mail.

“If anything, the way that fight went on Saturday works in our favour in terms of getting Wilder. That has always been the fight we want because he has the last belt.

“Now, let’s say he had beat Fury in two rounds - the negotiation will be a lot harder than after a draw where many think he was lucky to keep his WBC title. That goes in our favour.

“It might also be the case that Wilder fancies his chances in a punch-out with AJ rather than another go at Fury. As far as AJ is concerned, he will fight anyone. He would love Wilder next and he has always wanted Fury.”

Whether it’s true or not, Joshua, for the sake of his own reputation, better give the appearance of burning for the chance to tear Wilder and Fury apart. And Hearn, of course, needs to facilitate that bit of face-saving public relations.

Realistically, though, signing a Joshua-Wilder fight would probably meet with the same obstacles as it did when the two sides first tried negotiating. It might even be more difficult to put together a unification bout now, considering that Wilder has a very solid and lucrative option going for him in the form of a Fury rematch.

Fury, meanwhile, will also have that rematch option and will no doubt have a stronger bargaining position in negotiations with Joshua after last Saturday night’s performance.

It would be smart business for Hearn and Team Joshua to bust up a Wilder-Fury rematch and scoop up one of the participants—preferably Wilder, who brings with him the WBC belt and greater liabilities as a fighter—as a big ticket next opponent. Failure to do so would mean a second tier opponent for Joshua’s scheduled April defense and several months wasted, looking once again like a reluctant champ sitting around counting paychecks while the other top heavyweights busy themselves with real challenges.

And, most likely, the winner of Wilder-Fury 2 will be considered by many as the no. 1 heavyweight in the world, regardless of how many belts Joshua has, how many fans he can cram into soccer stadiums, or how much he earns per fight. Again, if Joshua can’t find a way to fight Wilder or Fury next, he better give the impression that he tried his damnedest to get both fighters into the ring because, just from a competitive standpoint, the winner of Wilder-Fury 2 could be able to boast of having a better, more complete résumé than Joshua.

So, it’s razzle-dazzle time for Eddie Hearn as he goes into full promoter mode, shoving his client into the conversation following a huge night for heavyweight boxing where Joshua—the division’s mega-hyped “next big thing”—was a mere afterthought.

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  1. Erect On Demand 12:52pm, 12/05/2018

    @fan-Magno you cleverly subtle chauvinistic buggerer you…your best work by far is when you comment on your own articles as “fan”!

  2. OU812 12:23pm, 12/05/2018

    fan has the beat.

  3. fan 10:44am, 12/05/2018

    Once a year, we should have a boxing major slam with all the greatest fighter of the year.

  4. The Tache 04:42am, 12/05/2018

    Just heard a pundit on the radio who reckons that Joshua v Wilder had been agreed or nearly agreed on the quiet before the Fury v Wilder fight, which might explain the judges enthusiasm for Wilder to leave with his belt no matter what.

    If that is true, then as long as the winner fights Fury we will have an undisputed champion. So it probably won’t happen!!!

  5. Your Name 06:21pm, 12/04/2018

    Pimp Hearn will never put his cash cow in danger making the fights will Fury or Wilder. Too risky for the business of Pimp Hearn and his well marketed fluke Joshua. And for sure, in this moment the number one on the heavyweights division is the last Neal champion The Gypsy King Tyson Fury!!

  6. Kid Blast 01:38pm, 12/04/2018

    the winner of Wilder-Fury 2 will be considered by many as the no. 1 heavyweight in the world

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