Anthony Joshua unlikely to step aside, wants Usyk rematch says Eddie Hearn ⋆ Boxing News 24
By Jim Calfa: Anthony Joshua is still entirely focused on taking the immediate rematch with Oleksandr Usyk for early 2022 and not expected to step aside, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
The Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn was asked about his thoughts last Saturday on an interview in which the former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua said he would consider a step aside to let Tyson Fury face Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) next if it made business sense.
Hearn says that if an offer was made to Joshua, 31, that was “difficult” not to talk about, they would discuss the possibility. But as of now, no such offer has been made, and Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) focused on taking the rematch with Usyk in early 2022.
WBC heavyweight champion Fury’s promoters at Top Rank want Joshua to step aside so that Tyson can face Usyk for the undisputed championship in early 2022.
Top Rank wants Joshua to step aside to prevent him from losing a second time to Usyk, as that would wreck a massive money fight between him and Fury. Like many, Top Rank believes the 6’9″ Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) matches up better against Usyk than Joshua does.
“I don’t think that’s a consideration,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to iFL TV in responding to a comment Anthony Joshua said in an interview on Saturday in which he said he would consider stepping aside rather than facing Oleksandr Usyk next.
“I think at some point if an offer was presented to someone that would be a situation where it would be difficult to not discuss Joshua stepping aside]. At the moment, the only focus is on the rematch [with Usyk].
“Anthony Joshua wants to fight Oleksandr Usyk. Until that is presented to him, and it hasn’t been presented to him in terms of stepping aside, that’s all the focus is.
“I haven’t seen the interview, but speaking to him [Joshua], all he wants to do is rematch Oleksandr Usyk. I think he’s unfollowed everyone but his sponsors. Don’t worry; we still talk every day,” Hearn said about Joshua unfollowing a large number of people on social media.
If Joshua loses the rematch with Usyk, there may be a lot of regret on his and Hearn’s part for not looking into the possibility of a step aside.
Even without an offer being made, it would be a wise option for Joshua to take because he and his Matchroom Boxing promoters will lose out on a significant amount of money for a clash against Fury if Usyk wins the rematch.
Right now, Hearn doesn’t seem to be entertaining the possibility of Joshua losing the rematch with Usyk, but there’s a real chance that he will.
Hearn thinks that Joshua will 100% beat Usyk by fighting aggressively the entire time, which could happen, but there’s also the likelihood that he’ll gas out and get defeated a second time.