The boxing promoter joined the Sports Bar to respond to the American boxer’s criticism of his handling of Joshua and revealed how the beaten Brit is feeling after losing his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles
Eddie Hearn has slammed Deontay Wilder and told the American he should thank his lucky stars to have Anthony Joshua in the heavyweight division.
In the wake of Joshua’s shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday night, Wilder launched a blistering attack on Hearn’s handling of the Brit in an exclusive interview with talkSPORT.
The WBC heavyweight champion accused the Matchroom supremo of ‘milking’ Joshua, claimed he he had put too much pressure on the 29-year-old and suggested he was forcing him into a rematch he didn’t want with Ruiz Jr.
THE FULL DEONTAY WILDER INTERVIEW: On Anthony Joshua’s defeat to Ruiz Jr, Eddie Hearn and Tyson Fury rematch
Hearn joined talkSPORT to give his response to Wilder’s comments, and told the ‘Bronze Bomber’ he would be nothing without AJ.
Speaking on the Sports Bar, Hearn said: “Wilder’s spent his whole career using Joshua’s name to build his own profile and he’s still doing it
“Imagine a promoter talking up his own fighter? I’ve over sold Anthony Joshua – the guy who won Olympic gold, won a world title in his 16th fight, fought Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in front of 90,000 in one of the biggest fights of all time, beat Dillian Whyte, beat Carlos Takam, unified at the Millennium Stadium in front of 80,000 people against Joseph Parker, defended his world titles against his mandatory Alexander Povetkin in front of 80,000 people at Wembley. How can you not over sell someone like that?
“Anthony Joshua has single-handedly changed the face of boxing worldwide and people like Deontay Wilder should have a picture of Anthony Joshua up in his lounge that he walks past every day and says ‘thank you very much for making me very wealthy’.
“Everybody has benefited from what AJ has done in this sport. I’m talking about fighters, I’m talking about promoters, I’m talking about media, I’m talking about talkSPORT, because of all these people have now got involved in a sport that has risen from the ashes, partly because of Matchroom but mainly because of Anthony Joshua.
“When we are accused of over selling him and pressure – when you are one of the biggest stars in sport and you are boxing for tens of millions in front of 90,000 people every time he fights, of course there is pressure.
“There’s no pressure on Wilder… I’m in New York and nobody knows who he is. He is more annoyed because he has just cost himself 100million dollars by turning down the fight with Anthony Joshua. After what Andy Ruiz did on Saturday, he is probably thinking ‘oh my God, that could have been me’.”
Joshua and Ruiz Jr are set to face off again in November or December this year in the UK, after the Mexican’s contracted rematch clause was triggered.
“With Joshua’s defeat, Deontay Wilder almost goes into obscurity because that fight is dead now,” said Hearn.
“The only fight that matters for Joshua is the Andy Ruiz rematch
“That rematch is now the biggest fight in the heavyweight division. Forget Wilder vs Joshua, forget Wilder vs Fury – Joshua vs Ruiz is a monster.”
Asked how Joshua is feeling after the first loss of his professional career, Hearn responded: “He is good. He is down in the dumps. He is classy guy – he likes to have a very positive mindset, a very humble mindse and his mindset is ‘I was beaten by the better man’.”