Hearn says Joshua may retire after winning all the titles
By Scott Gilfoid: Eddie Hearn is saying that IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could hang up his gloves and retire from the sport after he’s won all the titles in the division. Hearn says Joshua may lose his desire for boxing once he’s captured all 4 titles.
Joshua wants to fight WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. Those are the 6’5” Joshua’s two immediate goals. Hearn isn’t sure what he’ll do after that.
I hate to drizzle on Hearn’s retirement babble about AJ, but if Joshua wants to become a billionaire, then he’s going to have to stick around a lot longer than next year. Joshua will also have to be smart by accepting the big money promotional offers. Dana White supposedly is interested in signing Joshua for $500 million. If Joshua signs with White, he’s not going to be retiring anytime soon.
If Joshua does retire in the next year or so, then Hearn and his Matchroom Boxing promotions could take a big hit without him. Hearn doesn’t have anyone to replace him as a fighter that is world championship level fighter that the boxing public outside of the UK will get excited about. Joshua is the only guy in Hearn’s stable that the fans outside of the UK care about in large numbers. Matchroom fighters Kell Brook, Tony Bellew and Amir Khan have failed to gain much of a following outside of the UK. Moreover, they’re all close to retirement, so Hearn can’t count on them stepping into Joshua’s shoes and taking over as the next big money fighter for the Matchroom stable.
“Listen, AJ may retire after winning all the belts, who knows? He’s smart enough to know that, when he loses that desire, he won’t do it,” Hearn said to talksport.co.uk. I can’t see that happening any time soon until he gets to the top of the mountain. That’s when you might look round and say: ‘I’ve done everything’.”
I don’t see it as a loss of desire on Joshua’s part. I think it would be more of a case of him hearing footsteps coming from some of the younger lions that are looking to dethrone him and take his place at the top of the heavyweight division.
Looks like Hearn is crying wolf to get attention for Joshua. Isn’t there a better way for Hearn to get the boxing public to pay attention to Joshua than for him to be crying wolf? Hearn telling the fans that Joshua may retire soon looks like a transparent attempt to get the UK boxing fans to start watching his fight, because he might be gone soon. There’s got to be a better way for Hearn to sell Joshua’s fights then for him to be telling the fans that he could be retiring from boxing. It seems so obvious what Hearn is doing with him talking up the idea of Joshua retiring soon.
If Joshua does retire if/when he wins all the heavyweight titles, he would be taking the uncomplicated way out by cashing in without testing himself over the long haul against the best. Joshua has only fought one good but not great heavyweight during his 5-year pro career in 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko, and he should have lost to him. If Joshua beats Joseph Parker on March 31, Deontay Wilder and then the ring rusty Tyson Fury, he’d still have done very little during his career.
When you compare guys like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis to Joshua, there’s no way he’s even in the same stratosphere as those guys. Hearn is making a big production about the possibility of Joshua unifying the heavyweight division by winning all 4 titles. Hearn believes that Joshua unifying the division validates himself as one of the best in boxing history. I don’t agree. The heavyweight right is now barren of talented fighters. You’ve got 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin as one of the major players in the division, and 38-year-old Luis Ortiz might be the third best fighter in the weight class. The current heavyweight division doesn’t compare with what it looked like in the 60s, 70s and 80s. There are so few good heavyweights that it’s not even funny.
Joshua can do whatever he wants, but for him to be a great, he’s going to need to stick around for another 10 years and try and beat all comers. Judging by the way Hearn is talking, I don’t think Joshua has got the heart for the job. I think he’s starting to realize that after his last two fights against Wladimir and Carlos Takam that he’s not going to be able to stay at the top for very much longer before he starts getting beaten.
It’s no secret that Joshua has major stamina issues. We’ve seen those problems in several of his fights. But with Joshua heading towards 30, you can get that his conditioning woes will only get worse. I’m just saying. Joshua has trimmed his weight down for the Parker fight in hopes that it’ll improve his poor stamina. It won’t. Joshua’s horrible stamina will stay the same as it was regardless of how much weight he’s lost. How do I know that? Joshua had the same problem when he fought Dillian Whyte in 2015. Joshua weighed 245 lbs. for that fight, and he still gassed out badly.
The only reason Whyte didn’t win the fight is because he injured his left shoulder and couldn’t use that arm to throw shots. George Foreman had major stamina problems too early in his career, and he was only fighting between 217 to 229 lbs. Joshua is just like Foreman was earlier in his career with the way he gasses out. Foreman learned how to pace himself in the second part of his career, and he was able to win by using his jab and fighting in spurts. Joshua might not want to stick around and risk getting exposed left and right by the younger lions that are coming up like Daniel Dubois. Heck, even 32-year-old Joe Joyce would be a threat to Joshua, and he’s four years older than him.
”The Wilder fight is the one that gives him the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. That’s different level, that doesn’t happen anymore,” Hearn said.
Hearn is mistaking winning titles as a sign of talent. It doesn’t work like that anymore. The divisions are so watered down, and the heavyweight division is the worst in the entire sport in my view.