Barry Hearn on new Anthony Joshua deal: If he went, it would be like someone in the family leaving

Lawrence Lustig

Matchroom Boxing have reportedly made a nine-figure offer to Anthony Joshua for the current heavyweight king to remain with Eddie Hearn for the next three years.

With his contract up in just six months time and Joshua possibly having only one fight left with the company, the former Olympic gold medalist is being urged to commit for the immediate future.

Hearn’s father Barry, who was part of the process of bringing Joshua to Matchroom on the back of his success at London 2012, believes the close bond AJ enjoys with his son could be a telling factor in fending off potential suitors.

“Anthony is an astute young man and he knows what Matchroom has to offer him when his contract runs out in November,” Hearn told talkSPORT.

“To start with, Anthony is signed to the biggest and best promotional company in the world. We have the financial clout to make sure the big fights can go ahead at the big venues.

“We also have an exclusive contract with Sky Sports to screen quality boxing. There is also Sky Box Office.

“On top of all that, Anthony is also a friend.

“If he went, it would be like someone in the family leaving.

“No one at Matchroom is putting Anthony under pressure, but I am as confident as anyone can be in boxing,” he added.

Joshua was offered a $50m purse (by a rival promoter – the biggest of his career) last month to face Deontay Wilder in an undisputed unification, although the deal is not expected to be as straightforward as the terms suggested.

Wilder is in possession of the WBC belt Joshua wants, leaving many to believe the fight will happen in the summer before a rematch heads to the United States later in the year.

Whatever happens, Joshua will significantly improve on his current status as the fifth most wealthy young sportsman on the planet.