Eddie Hearn denies Anthony Joshua has a weak chin

By Boxing News - 09/24/2021 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn denies IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has a weak chin despite his growing reputation for his inability to take headshots without getting hurt.

Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) will need to make sure chin is sometimes fragile chin doesn’t fail him on Saturday when he defends his three world titles against Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.

Usyk is thinking scary thoughts

The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk has already said that he thinks thoughts that may “scare” the media about his fight with Joshua.

Usyk’s comments suggest that he will be head-hunting on Saturday, looking to KO Joshua to wreck his career and foil Hearn’s dreams of an undisputed clash with Tyson Fury.

If Joshua’s glass-like mandible fails him on Saturday, he could be another Humpty-Dumpty. No one will be able to put Joshua’s chin back together again.

The growing belief that many fans have is Joshua is this era’s version of Wladimir Klitschko, a heavyweight whose reputation was weak in the chin department.

Hearn insists that there’s nothing wrong with Joshua’s mandible and that on the few occasions where he was hurt during his eight-year professional career, he was hit with shots that would have hurt anybody.

Joshua was visibly hurt against Andy Ruiz Jr., Wladimir Klitschko, and Dillian Whyte. Hearn feels that those fights didn’t prove that Joshua can’t take a headshot without getting hurt.

Instead, it was a case of AJ getting tagged with punches that he wasn’t ready to take because he was in the process of throwing his own.

Hearn doesn’t say anything about Joshua being hurt in his fights with Alexander Povetkin and Carlos Takam. Those guys both shook AJ to his boots after tagging him with big shots.

Hearn: Nothing wrong with Joshua’s punch resistance

“I really disagree with that because if you go back through his fights. The one fight where he appeared where his punch resistance wasn’t great was in the first Andy Ruiz fight,” said Eddie Hearn to ESNEWS in responding to critics saying Joshua has a weak chin.

Image: Eddie Hearn denies Anthony Joshua has a weak chin

“If you go back to the Klitschko fight, for example, or even the Dillian Whyte fight. He [Joshua] got wobbled in the Dillian Whyte fight by a left hook that would have knocked out a horse while he was throwing.

“So he got caught trading with a left hook that honestly would have deceased many men. He had a wobble and got his feet back.

“Now he was tired after that, and it took him some rounds to get back. In the Wladimir Klitschko fight in round five when he [Joshua] put him down, he took the absolute kitchen sink from Wladimir Klitschko in the fifth round.

“In the sixth round, he [Joshua] come out and took a huge right hand on the chin. He went down and got up. He was knackered but he recovered and came back and stopped him.

“He took shots against [Kubrat] Pulev. There was one moment where he got hit with an uppercut and he lost balance. Was he stunned? Maybe.

“His punch resistance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with his punch resistance,” said Hearn about Joshua.

Hearn is whistling past the graveyard in his belief that there’s nothing wrong with Joshua’s punch resistance. The reality is, there’s something VERY wrong with Joshua’s punch resistance, as he’s got one of the weakest chins in memory for a heavyweight champion.

The best heavyweight champions always had great chins. Look at these talents:

  • Larry Holmes
  • Mike Tyson
  • Muhammad Ali
  • George Foreman
  • Jack Dempsey
  • Joe Louis

You can’t include Joshua in that list because he can’t take a punch like those champions.

Bellew says Usyk can punch

“Now people say Usyk is not a puncher. Oh, yes, don’t worry about that. He can punch, Tony Bellew told me. But he’s not a destructive heavyweight puncher.

“It’s not like you’re fighting Deontay Wilder where the fear is you can be winning the fight easy and just like that it’s over. That’s not Usyk.

He [Usyk] can crack and he can take a person out, but he hit Derek Chisora with everything and he couldn’t stop him. Del is tough and he’s got a good chin,” said Hearn.

Usyk can punch hard enough with his left hand to knock out Joshua, but he needs to load up on his shots. In Usyk’s fight against Bellew in 2018, he wasn’t able to hurt him until the eighth round when he sat down on his shots.

It’ll be risky for Usyk to load up on his punches early on in the fight on Saturday because Joshua is at his best power-wise in the early rounds. As such, Usyk must wait until the second half of the battle before he goes for the knockout of Joshua.

It’s going to be bad for Hearn if Joshua gets stopped by Usyk, as it’ll make it evident that he doesn’t possess the punch resistance to stay at the top.

Hearn and Joshua will need to make a BIG at that point whether to push for a rematch with Usyk, knowing that if they lose, it’s game over for AJ’s career.

Joshua could be in trouble

“People really look into the one fight where his [Joshua] physical preparation wasn’t the best and he got hit on the top of the head and it completely disoriented him, concussed him and he never recovered,” said Hearn about Joshua’s loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019.

“But you go into the other fights and I think he’s a smarter fighter now. Just because he might tie someone up on the inside, ‘Oh, he’s scared. He don’t want to trade up.’ No, he’s smart.

“Wladimir Klitschko did it for years, and by the way, he had a good chin, Wladimir Klitschko. ‘Oh, he lost to Lamon Brewster and all this.’ Look, it’s heavyweight boxing. If you get hit on the chin, you go over.

“You don’t spar the rounds AJ does with the quality heavyweights. His chin is absolutely fine.

“I want to see Usyk’s chin. I mean, he may have a fantastic chin. That’s a danger because he’s boxed some decent punchers.

“[Murat] Gassiev, [Mairis] Briedis, but it’s a different type of power and a different type of level. He [Usyk] may have a cast-iron chin. If he does, that ain’t great news,” said Hearn.

For sure, if Usyk can handle Joshua’s power on Saturday night, he’s got an excellent chance of winning their fight.

It’ll be bad news for Joshua if Usyk can walk through his best shots to get to his fragile chin, as it doesn’t take much to hurt AJ.

Charles Brun is looking forward to hearing what Hearn says about the aftermath of Saturday’s fight if Joshua gets knocked out by Usyk.

Will Hearn continues to insist that Joshua doesn’t have a weak mandible, or will he finally admit the truth that he can’t take a punch.

Joshua’s career won’t be over with if Usyk knocks him out. AJ would need to bring Wladimir Klitschko into his next camp to give the finer points to protect himself in his fights better.

The legendary trainer Emanuel Steward saved Wladimir’s career by having use movement, jabbing, and frequent clinching as a way to protect his weak mandible.

It worked until Steward passed away. Once he was gone, Wladimir reverted back to his old ways and lost to Tyson Fury snd Joshua, which ended his career.

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