A defiant sounding Matchroom promoter, Eddie Hearn, insists that former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s career won’t end on Saturday night if he loses to Andy Ruiz Jr. in Saudi Arabia.
Although Hearn believes Joshua will win no problem, he still thinks his career will survive even if he loses the fight.
Hearn does sound worried though. You can hear it in his tone that there’s concern in the back of his mind for what happens with Joshua (22-1, 21 KOs) if he gets upended again multiple times by Ruiz, and winds up quitting like he did last June.
“I don’t mind the pressure in that, because I quite like him under pressure, because I think he performs,” said Hearn when told that boxing fans think Joshua’s career will be over if he loses to Andy.. “But when you talk about a fighter with 24 fights, that has lost to one man, and unified the heavyweight world title twice, he’s got a lot of improvements to make.
“He’s getting better and better. Don’t write him off yet. We don’t want to think about losing. To me, he has a future win, lose or draw, but the only thing that matters is to win. That’s the only thing he’s focused on,” said Hearn.
Joshua can’t keep losing like that without causing a percentage of boxing fans from abandoning him, and no longer purchasing his fights on pay-per-view. But as we’ve seen in the case of Dillian Whyte, Amir Khan and Dereck Chisora, fans won’t give up on Joshua.
There aren’t a lot of heavyweights in the division that are capable of doing what Ruiz did to Joshua. The chances of Joshua continuing to suffer defeats after his rematch with Ruiz are slim. Hearn won’t let that happen to him, because he’ll make sure he doesn’t put him in with guys that can beat him.
This isn’t just about Joshua. it’s also about Hearn, because Joshua makes him money. Hearn isn’t going to mess up the money train by throwing Joshua into the ring with Deontay Wilder or a Luis Ortiz if he loses to Ruiz on Saturday.
“There will be 15,000 on Saturday, and there will be 4,000 Brits, and there will be a couple of thousand other nationalities, and the rest will be locals,” said Hearn to Fighthub. “Yeah, it’ll be completely filled up.
‘We’re not even involved in the tickets. We know the sales, and we know there’s 4,000 Brits coming. Not just from the UK, but from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the expat community. I think he took a little time to reflect,” said Hearn in talking about Joshua.
If this is true what Hearn says about the 15.000 attendance for the fight, Ruiz will have almost zero fan support on Saturday in Saudi. By Hearn stating the Joshua-Ruiz 2 rematch in Saudi Arabia, it means very few if Ruiz’s fans will be making the trip.