Anthony Joshua’s career would be ‘all over’ if he loses his next fight in April, Eddie Hearn admits, but the promoter is confident victory will lead to a big heavyweight clash in the summer
- Heavyweight star Anthony Joshua is expected to return to the ring on April 1
- Joshua has suffered back-to-back defeats to Ukrainian star Oleksandr Usyk
- Eddie Hearn believes a third consecutive loss could spell the end of his career
- Hearn remains hopeful the star can become a three-time world champion
Anthony Joshua‘s promoter Eddie Hearn has admitted a defeat on his return to action would spell the end of his career, but expressed confidence success could be part of the star’s journey to becoming a three-time heavyweight world champion.
Joshua is due to travel to the United States to link up with his new team, which is yet to be announced, as he prepares to return to the ring in April.
Hearn told iFL TV that the opponent is yet to be finalised but the fight is expected to take place on April 1 at the O2 Arena in London.
Anthony Joshua will seek to bounce back to winning ways when he returns to the ring in April
Eddie Hearn has admitted defeat for Joshua in April would likely end the heavyweight’s career
Australian heavyweight Demsey McKean has been linked as a potential option for the contest.
Joshua will be aiming to bounce back after suffering back-to-back defeats to Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, with Hearn admitting a third loss would likely end his career.
‘This is the most excited I’ve been on Anthony Joshua’s journey so far because I think it’s exciting,’ Hearn said.
‘You go into that fight in April – you know that with defeat, it’s all over, really. It would be a third back-to-back defeat.
Joshua has suffered back-to-back defeats to Ukrainian star Oleksandr Usyk
‘And yet a great performance and a showreel knockout gets everyone saying, ‘We’re back, we’re back baby.’
‘That’s what I can’t wait for, because I love it when our backs are against the wall. That’s the best moments and this is one of those moments for AJ.’
Hearn repeated his hope that his star fighter will be involved in three showdowns this year.
A potential rematch against Joshua’s old rival Dillian Whyte has been viewed as the likeliest option in the summer.
Joshua could potentially end the year with another high profile showdown against either Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, with the potential to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.
Hearn has teased a massive rematch against Joshua’s old rival Dillian Whyte in the summer
‘AJ wants a big fight in the summer,’ Hearn said. ‘The one that would make sense and the one that should be hopefully quite straightforward to make is the rematch with Dillian.
‘We’re open to a Deontay Wilder fight, we’re open to a Tyson Fury fight, we are open to every fight in the summer.
‘In my mind, with AJ fighting in April and probably Dillian probably fighting around the same time, that would lead them to a big all-British heavyweight fight in the summer.
‘It doesn’t mean its done, we would have to agree terms, but that’s what I’d like to do.
‘AJ wants to be in the biggest fights possible and if a bigger fight rears its head – there’s only two bigger fights in the division than Dillian Whyte, that’s Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
‘If they appear somehow, 100 per cent we will look at those as well, but the key is April 1.’
Hearn is hopeful of Joshua fighting either Tyson Fury (L) or Deontay Wilder (R) later this year
Joshua had previously looked set to face Fury in December before long-winded negotiations collapsed in October after the Gypsy King offered him a shot at his WBC world title belt.
His rival goaded him over the slow nature of talks before eventually calling it off, and claiming they would never fight.
Joshua has been attempting to fight Wilder since they were both world champions between 2016 and 2020.
The American’s team claimed they once sent a contract to AJ’s representatives, but could not follow up on their claim that Joshua would make $50m from the fight.