His Respect Has been Lost – Eddie Hearn told Anthony Joshua to “f*** off” after chat over Andy Ruiz Jr trilogy
Eddie Hearn told Anthony Joshua to “f*** off” after the heavyweight suggested he would be open to a trilogy bout with Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua was outpointed by Oleksandr Usyk in their heavyweight rematch in August and now faces an uncertain future after losing his heavyweight title belts. It looked as if Joshua would then settle his rivalry with Tyson Fury this December, but talks collapsed before the fight was completely agreed.
Now a whole host of other opponents are being proposed for Joshua’s return in 2023, including Dillian Whyte and Deontay Wilder, and ‘AJ’ was ringside in Abu Dhabi alongside a star-studded boxing line-up which included Amir Khan and heavyweight contender Ruiz Jr.
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And Hearn has claimed the 33-year-old even suggested he would fight upcoming prospect Bakhodir Jalolov who was also ringside at the event. “Definitely (Wilder) was one of the names I mentioned to him tonight,” Hearn told reporters when asked if Joshua was open to a number of tests in his heavyweight return. “I’m not just saying it, but I couldn’t say a fight to AJ that he doesn’t go he said tonight about Andy Ruiz. “I said have you seen Andy Ruiz over there, he went ‘yeah, I’d love to fight him again’.
“I was like, ‘why? You’re not fighting him again!’ He was like ‘why not?’ and I went ‘f*** off’. He’s horrible! He saw Bakhodir Jalavov and said ‘I’d love to fight him’ and I go ‘why? He’s about 4-0! He just wants to fight everybody. It’s just the case of whether he has and it wouldn’t be an easy fight, but an easier fight before he goes into a Deontay Wilder or a Dillian Whyte basically.”
Joshua suffered his first career defeat when he faced Ruiz Jr who stepped in as a late replacement opponent for Jarrell Miller who failed a drug test in 2019. Joshua was left stunned after being stopped by the Mexican but went on to avenge his defeat six months later in a lucrative Middle East rematch.
Since then Joshua’s form has decline having just one win to his name – against Kubrat Pulev – in his last three fights. It looked as if Joshua planned to return before the close of 2022, but it will now be delayed until next year after failing to find an opponent. And the former champion has claimed his complicated life had a knock-on effect on his comeback plans.
He told DAZN: “My life is complicated. Boxing has become a bit complicated for me. But everyone is just trying to make the most of this time while I’m boxing and they’re doing a good job. But it does affect my ring activity. So I’m just always trying to push that stuff away. It’s a challenge. I’m just trying to get it out the way this year, so next year I can just focus.”