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Eddie Hearn fires back at critics of Anthony Joshua

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

By Jack Tiernan: Eddie Hearn says the reason why former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is so widely criticized by boxing fans is that in the UK, they don’t like fighters or people that achieve success.

So rather than fans being elated that Joshua has captured several world titles and found a great deal of success during his eight-year professional career, they tear him down.

Interestingly, Hearn compares Joshua to former British heavyweight Frank Bruno, who he says the fans supported and loved.

However, once the well-liked Bruno captured the WBO title in 1995, the fans turned on him, making him less popular.

Hearn theorizes that the reason for that reaction to Bruno from fans is because he was no longer viewed as a guy that couldn’t NEVER win a world title. Once Bruno captured the WBC title, the fans stopped circling their wagons around him as they’d done before.

Hearn explains WHY Joshua is torn down by fans

“The boxing public, the boxing hardcore fans, don’t really like anyone that has significant success in that outer space, and it probably has happened with me as well,” said Eddie Hearn to Joe when asked if Joshua is giving too much disrespect from fans.

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

“When I first started out in boxing, I was trying to overturn the system. I had all that support in the boxing hardcore, but the boxing hardcore will see Joshua fill stadiums and say, ‘Ah.’

“Look at the resume of Anthony Joshua. He has the best resume in heavyweight boxing, bar none. He’s always fought the toughest fights, he’s fought everybody that’s been a mandatory, and he’s never swerved, anyone.

“He’s a throwback fighter, but still, people will think he’s been spoonfed and has had easy fights. And he’s never had easy fights, and he’s a good individual, who works as hard as he can, provides for his family. He’s got a good heart, so I don’t see how you can begin to dislike this man.

“Again, unfortunately in this country, we do have a tendency [to criticize fighters/people that achieve success], and Frank Bruno is the same. Frank Bruno was a God. He won the heavyweight title, and it’s almost like his popularity diminished after winning the world heavyweight title.

“‘Oh, he’s not old Frank, who CAN’T win the heavyweight world title anymore’ rather than,He’s done it!’ We need a little bit more of that in this country,” said Hearn in giving his theory why Joshua is criticized by boxing fans.

Hearn may have a warped view of WHY Joshua is admonished by the UK boxing fans and fanatics worldwide. Perhaps the valid reason the fans find fault with the big 6’6″ Joshua is because of his failings and flaws in his game.

When Joshua turned professional in 2013 after capturing a controversial gold medal in the 2013 London Olympics, Hearn built him up to be some unstoppable action hero and claimed that he would carry the heavyweight division on his back for ten years as s world champion.

Well, here we are in Joshua’s eighth year of his pro career, and he’s already been beaten twice by guys that he was supposed to have an easy time with against Andy Ruiz Jr. and Oleksander Usyk.

At the moment, Joshua is belt-less, and there are severe doubts among fans that he’ll win the rematch with Usyk.

Indeed, the fans believe Joshua will lose to Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) a second time, and once that happens, his career will be effectively finished as an elite-level fighter.

Joshua must use his size & power against Usyk

“We still have to see what happens with Joshua and Usyk,” said AK of DAZN to iFL TV. “I disagree with that completely,” AK said when told that Dave Allen said that Joshua will get knocked out badly if he goes right at Usyk in the rematch and tries rushing him.

“Obviously, he’s not going to outbox Usyk, so should he go in with the same approach? Joshua is a big strong man, and he has technical ability. Usyk is a decorated amateur, and he has a lot of tricks up his sleeves.

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

“I’m not saying Joshua would be able to do some smart things in there. It has to be effective aggressiveness. He has to approach it in a smart way. He has to go at Usyk and use his size, strength, and power to overpower that boxing ability.

“You can’t go in there any other way, so I disagree with that,” said AK about him not agreeing with Dave Allen, saying Joshua will get knocked out if he bum rushes Usyk in the rematch.

“I got to ride with my guy AJ. The loss, he’s going to learn from it, and he’s going to be the underdog going into that fight [Usyk]. I do feel he pulls it off and gets his straps back.

“I just think Joshua is the type of guy that he’s a student of the game, and he’s going to watch that fight [against Usyk from last September] a million times.

“He’s going to go to the gym and work on everything he needs to work on in order not to make the same mistakes he made last time.

“He’s honest enough, candid enough to say, ‘I’m going out there to work with some new people in the sport. I’m going to do everything I need to do to be a better fighter that night.’

“I think the adjustments are going to be the difference [in the Joshua vs. Usyk rematch]. Keep in mind, we all know how good Usyk is.

“I’m not saying Usyk isn’t going to go and make adjustments as well. I just think the power is going to play a major part in that fight.

“I think Joshua is going to be able to place some big shots throughout that fight that is going to hurt Usyk, in my opinion. So I think the power is going to be the difference,” said AK.

You can argue that AK’s view of what went wrong for Joshua is too simplistic. He seems to be drinking from the same Kool-aid container as Hearn, thinking that the only reason Joshua lost to Usyk is that he failed to fight aggressively.

The real reason is Joshua couldn’t handle Usyk’s power, lacked the stamina to fight, and the boxing IQ to beat the talented 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

AK likely believes that Joshua will beat Usyk by coming up with the perfect game plan, as he did for his rematch with an overweight, out-of-shape Andy Ruiz Jr, and follow it to the letter to avenge his loss.

The truth is, Joshua didn’t win the rematch with Ruiz because of his excellent game plan designed by his training team. He won the fight because Ruiz failed to train, let his weight climb to 283 lbs, and didn’t take the rematch seriously.

Usyk won’t make those same mistakes that Ruiz did for his rematch with AJ, so it won’t matter if Joshua comes into the second fight more aggressively.

The ONLY way Joshua will win the rematch is if he gets lucky and knocks Usyk out, and that’s going to be VERY difficult for him to do.

If Joshua throws a lot of shots trying to knock Usyk out, he’s liable to gas out and be at the mercy of the Ukrainian just like last time.

As such, Joshua will be shooting himself in the foot if he fights aggressively in the rematch because he’ll only gas out and get humiliated by him even worse this time.



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