Hearn: Deontay Wilder doesn’t matter to Joshua
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says WBC heavyweight Deontay Wilder is not someone that Anthony Joshua is concerned with right now. Hearn says Wilder is trying to get attention on himself by saying he wants Tyson Fury to step aside so that he can fight Joshua or Andy Ruiz Jr. next. Hearn says Wilder needs to pay attention to his own fight against Luis Ortiz on November 23, and stop being a “clout-stealer.”
Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) is facing Andy Ruiz Jr. in a rematch on December 7th in Saudi Arabia. Hearn says that if Joshua loses that fight, there won’t be a Joshua-Wilder fight. It’s unclear what he means by that, but it’s likely that he’ll press for a third Ruiz match for Joshua. That could be a career-ender for Joshua if he loses three in a row to Ruiz, but he would be the one that makes the decision to take that fight.
Some boxing fans believe Wilder is no longer excited about fighting the 6’9″ Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) after the problems he had with him last December. Now with Fury in better physical condition, Wilder doesn’t want the rematch.
Wilder doesn’t matter to Joshua says Hearn
“On May 28th, the same day that AJ arrived in New York to do his press, Deontay Wilder announced his fight with Luis Ortiz,” said Hearn to IFL TV. “It’s September the 7th. That’s 10 weeks later. Still, we have no [Wilder-Ortiz] fight, no date, no nothing. This week when Ruiz and Joshua started their press conference, Wilder said, ‘I want [Tyson] Fury to step aside so that I can fight AJ if he wins. I want to be undisputed.’ I saw his post last night. ‘I want to be undisputed, one face, one man.’
Where was that 6 months ago. He went against that undisputed thing. Now all of a sudden it’s really important to him. Honestly, Wilder doesn’t matter to us. What matters to us is winning this fight, and this is the biggest fight in the division by a mile. It’s the biggest financial fight, not of all time, but certainly in heavyweight boxing,” said Hearn.
It’s perfectly understandable for Hearn and Joshua not to be concentrating on Wilder right now. Ruiz is only one that matters, because he could sink Joshua’s career with another knockout. There are already legions of boxing fans saying Joshua is another Frank Bruno. If Joshua loses to Ruiz a second time in the same fashion, then it’s going to be hard for him to come back from that. Hearn says Joshua isn’t focusing as much on his conditioning, and he’s slimmed down. Instead of exercising, Joshua is focusing on boxing for the Ruiz rematch. Hearn expects Joshua to be lighter, and faster for the rematch.
Hearn: Deontay Wilder is a “Clout stealer”
“We have to focus on this, because if we don’t win,” said Hearn about Joshua’s entire focus being on Ruiz rematch, not on Wilder. “If AJ doesn’t win this fight, there is no Wilder fight. It’s just frustrating. Every time AJ does a press tour, Wilder starts to try and get in the limelight. Our focus is on Ruiz. We don’t want to talk about Wilder. He’s a clout stealer. So let this epic moment unfold, and we wish him the best Ortiz. I’m sure it’ll have on November 23rd. But why announce the fight on May 28, and then wait three months to actually announce it.
You know what he’s trying to do on that day. It’s a bit sad really. It’s not something me and AJ would do. ‘Hey, Wilder is fighting. Should we do an announcement?’ Because you see the levels. Anthony Joshua just got beat, and his fights are still bigger than Deontay Wilder. I’m busy. Don’t waste my time,” said Hearn.
Right now Joshua is getting a lot of attention for his rematch with Ruiz, because he lost the first fight. If not for that, this fight couldn’t be generating nearly as much interest. It would be the same thing for Wilder. If he lost to Ruiz, the boxing world would be highly interested in seeing the second fight. Fans like seeing fighters in contests where there’s a lot to lose, and Joshua everything to lose in the Ruiz rematch.
Fans like seeing Joshua matched in a 50-50 fight for once
For a lot of fans, they’re happy to see Joshua finally involved in a fight that’s considered 50-50 going in. A lot of people are viewing Ruiz as the favorite for the rematch. That’s even better. Joshua is the underdog for the first time in his pro career, and that makes it exciting. Wilder has never been an underdog for any of his fights. It’s a little more difficult to get excited about Wilder’s matches, because he’s always winning.
After so many mismatches that Hearn has set Joshua up with, it’s a breath of fresh air to see him in a fight that he could lose. Some believe that Hearn has purposefully given Wilder low ball offers for a Joshua fight, because he didn’t want AJ to lose. A lot of fans think Hearn gave Dillian Whyte a low-ball offer for the Joshua rematch for the same reason. Hearn never matched Joshua against Luis Ortiz, who clearly is arguably better than most of the guys AJ has fought.
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) September 6, 2019
Dillian Whyte will fight before the end of 2019 says Hearn
“I’m seeing him on Monday. His lawyers are dealing with UK,” said Hearn about Dillian Whyte. “I believe there is some kind of hearing taking place in early October. Hopefully after that everything will be published and cleared, and he can continue to box. I want this to be dealt with, because I’m tired of answering the question every time I do an interview. I want this to be out and over with, even one way or the other. But I know the way it will go, and I know what’s happened so far.
So I think it’s important for it to be dealt with. Right now, he can box tomorrow. It’s important to know that he’s been cleared to box. He’s not suspended by anyone. But I just thing where he is with his career, and the profile he’s built, he needs to draw a line under this as well. That’s what they’re trying to do. I believe he’ll fight this year,” said Hearn.
Hearn is going to wait until Whyte’s B-sample if finally tested, and the results announced before he schedules him for his next fight.