Barry Hearn responds to claims Anthony Joshua is ‘protected in the UK’

World Boxing News 08/01/2019

In the final part of Barry Hearn’s recent interview on The Brian Moore Show, the Matchroom Sport boss discussed pitching Anthony Joshua in with his main rivals.

Hearn, along with son Eddie – the head of Matchroom Boxing, has received criticism in some quarters for what is perceived as protection of their main asset.


Rival Frank Warren stated his belief that Joshua was ‘just a cash cow’ being used ‘to fill up Wembley twice a year instead of pursuing Deontay Wilder or his main man, Tyson Fury.

Also, former undisputed heavyweight king Lennox Lewis expressed his concern over Joshua’s willingness to stay ‘protected’ in the UK.

Giving his view, Hearn Sr. (📸 Matchroom Sport) said if it was a case of signing either Wilder or Fury, the Joshua fight would be made immediately.

“Tyson Fury can box but he can’t punch, Deontay Wilder can punch but he can’t box. But AJ can punch and he can box. So if I’m looking at protecting my man. And making sure he earns the most amount of money with the least amount of risk, I’d take either of those two fights in a heartbeat,” Hearn told Love Sport Radio

“But being the cynical old git that I am, I don’t think they’re gonna be knocking our door down because I think they work it out. ‘Look we can fight each other, we both think we’re gonna win (and either of them could win). Then we can fight Joshua for even more money’.

“So you tend to put it off. It’s like Amir Khan and Kell Brook. They always think they can go back to that fight later after they’ve milked the system. Actually life doesn’t work like that.

“Sometimes you miss a bus because it’s pulled away from the curb. So Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is a great fight. I believe that will probably happen, one way or the other.

“If in the meantime, either of them phones up Eddie, we would sign either of them in a heartbeat. We’re running a business, Joshua is the world champion, undisputed number one. He’s the only real champion out there. An unblemished record and holds four belts so no problem but we run a business so who’s next?”


Concluding on the Fury fight, Hearn would be willing to get it done for as early as April 13th.

“It is a big fight. It’s complicated because Tyson Fury’s on BT, we’re on Sky. Tyson Fury’s promoted by Frank Warren, we are obviously the market leaders and industry leaders so there’s all sorts of egos and money coming in.

“I mean, I’d be very happy to fight Tyson Fury on April 13th as well. And the reason being, technically, I’m happy to say my opinion because if I’m wrong, I’ll always admit it.

“And if you asked me to pick one (from Wilder or Fury) I couldn’t honestly tell you, and I’m so glad I’m not in professional boxing anymore because you wouldn’t sleep at night,” he added.

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