Joshua wants to fight another 10 years; Bellew update – UK News
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua wants to fight another 10 years beyond his fight against Wladimir Klitschko in a little over a week from now. According to Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, the 27-year-old Joshua wants to fight 10 more years before he wraps up his boxing career. Obviously, Joshua has the size and power to fight 10 more or even 15 years if he wants. But I think it’s going to require some very, very skillful match-making by Hearn to keep him on top.
There are guys that are coming up like Joe Joyce who could quickly unseat Joshua by knocking him out and sending him hurdling back to the contender ranks. Hearn might need to steer Joshua around the dangerous guys like the 6’6” Joyce. As you can see, Hearn has already been very careful with his match-making with Joshua. He still hasn’t fought Luis Ortiz, Deontay Wilder, David Haye, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin. In other words, Joshua hasn’t fought the good heavyweights yet. He’s been fighting mostly vulnerable guys that didn’t present problems for him.
If Hearn can keep steering Joshua away from the good heavyweights for the next 10 years, I think it’s possible for him to last that long. I don’t think Joshua will be the top fighter though. If he can’t beat Joyce or Deontay Wilder or if he won’t even fight them, then you can’t rate Joshua as the top dog in the heavyweight division.
“Everything is just on the line on April 29,” Hearn said to skysports.com. “AJ talks about having 10 years left in boxing, so part of me doesn’t want to rush, but we’re rushing into the Klitschko fight. Why not keep going? It’s all about winning, but he certainly wants to be in the biggest fights possible over the next 10 years,” said Hearn.
Well, if Joshua wants the biggest fights possible in the next 10 years, then Hearn is going to need to change the way he matches him moving forward. That means no more fights against over-matched opposition like we’ve been seeing with Joshua being put in with Eric Molina, Charles Martin, Dominic Breazeale, Dillian Whyte, and Michael Sprott. Joshua needs to start being put in with talented fighters. I don’t rate Joshua’s fight against 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko as a big fight.
I think it’s a mismatch. It might be a big business fight for Joshua in terms of attracting attention of the casual boxing fans that don’t realize how old, inactive and seemingly over-the-hill Wladimir is at this point in his career, but I don’t think it’s a good fight. If you want to have a good fight, throw Joshua in the ring with Deontay or Joe Joyce and see how well he does. It’s time that Hearn takes the training wheels off of Joshua and stop pampering him with old guys that are no longer at their best.
As for as Joshua’s fight against Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) goes, there isn’t a rematch clause in the contract. Hearn says he would be open to a rematch depending on how things go in the fight. It makes sense not to have a rematch clause, because you just don’t know how the fight will do and what kind of ending it will have. If Joshua blasts Wladimir out in 2 rounds, it wouldn’t make sense at all to have a rematch. The boxing public wouldn’t be thrilled at seeing Joshua fight Wladimir a second time under those kinds of circumstances.
It would obviously be a great deal for Wladimir to have a rematch, because he would get another big payday. I think Wladimir is a shot fighter. I don’t think he beats anyone good at this point in the heavyweight division. If Joshua were to keep fighting Wladimir, it would be like giving him a golden parachute to retire on.
I don’t think the boxing public would be getting a great deal in repeated and needless rematches between Joshua and Klitschko. It would be just more blow out mismatches like the one we’re likely to see on April 29. Frankly, I don’t think Wladimir will make it to the 3rd round before Joshua knocks him out. I think a lot of boxing fans are going to be angry they paid to see the fight in the UK. In the states, Joshua vs. Klitschko will be shown on HBO and Showtime premium channels, but they aren’t on PPV.
“Nothing is guaranteed in boxing,” he said. “If there is no value in the rematch, then you won’t see it again. If it’s a great fight, certainly we can’t rule out doing it again,” said Hearn.
Eddie Hearn thinks Tony Bellew will continue career
Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn believes that Tony Bellew will be resuming his career once his hand fully heals. Bellew, 34, says he’s not sure yet whether he’ll fight again after stopping heavyweight David Haye in the 11th round last month on March 4 in their big fight at the O2 Arena in London, England. Hearn thinks Bellew has at least 2 more big fights in him, and possibly even as many as 7 or 8.
Hearn really seems to want Bellew to continue his career and go after a heavyweight world title when he does come back. Hearn feels that Bellew can go after heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker, and then fight a rematch with David Haye.
“I think he’ll fight again,” said Hearn to IFL TV about Bellew. “You’re coming off 3 big wins. Your last 3 wins are Ilunga Makabu, who nobody wanted to fight at cruiserweight, knocked out in 2 rounds for the cruiserweight title, BJ Flores and David Haye. Normally you end your career when you’re going like that. But when you have a carrot of a world heavyweight title, do you want to have a crack? Do you want to have a chance of becoming a 2-weight champion? I think Tony Bellew can win a heavyweight world title. The rematch can happen [against David Haye]. I don’t know what Tony wants and how he wants to be treated would go down well with David Haye. It would be everything that you ask for. The man on the street would say, ‘Fair enough.’ But I don’t know if David is in that frame of mind to say, ‘Fair enough.’ ‘I gave you the opportunity to make money last time,’ which he did, ‘and now you’re going to give me the opportunity to avenge the loss,’” said Hearn in talking about Haye wanting a rematch with Bellew after giving him an opportunity for a big payday last March. “If that happens, I think there’s a good chance that fight happens, but I’m not sure if it will,” said Hearn. “I don’t know how he’ll come back from the injury. Tony Bellew could fight [Deontay] Wilder or [Joseph] Parker, and then fight David. We could have 7 or 8 fights left here. It’s not my decision. I tell him this fight is this amount of millions, and this fight is this amount of millions. But when you look at how his life has changed, the last fight was all about setting up your family for the rest of their life. That’s done now; house paid for, loads of money. Now he can take it to another level. Tony is one of those guys that doesn’t want much. You’re not going to see him out buying boats, private jets, and stuff like that. It’s not just about money, and that’s why I talk about world heavyweight championship. Tony Bellew is a boxing man. He knows the value of the world heavyweight championship, financially but also from a legacy point of view,” said Hearn.
Hearn still isn’t bringing up Anthony Joshua’s name when it comes to Bellew fighting for a world heavyweight title. I believe that’ a strategy for Hearn to avoid criticism from the boxing public, because the fans obviously know he promotes Joshua as well. If Hearn starts talking Joshua vs. Bellew fight right now, he’s going to take heat from fans. Ultimately, I think that’s the fight that Hearn will make in the future when Bellew does fight for a heavyweight title. I don’t think for a second that Hearn will throw Bellew into the ring with Wilder or Parker, because both of those guys would knock him out quickly, and then that would be it for him. The payday wouldn’t be huge for Bellew against either of them like it would be for a fight against Joshua.
Bellew would then be looking at a rematch with Haye followed by retirement. I think Haye would beat Bellew easily in a rematch, as long as he doesn’t suffer another leg injury. Bellew would then end his career with 2 straight losses. It’s a lot better for Bellew if he faces Joshua for a huge payday, and then go from that fight to the rematch with Haye. That’s the bigger cash route for Bellew to take if he wants to maximize the amount of money he can make. If Bellew is going to lose his next fight, which he clearly will if he stays at heavyweight, then he needs to face Joshua next for the biggest payday possible.