EXCLUSIVE: Who is ‘the real’ Anthony Joshua? – Eddie Hearn explains
Monday’s press conference overseen by Eddie Hearn displayed a quieter pair of fighters than we had witnessed at New York just one week ago. Anthony Joshua and Jarrell Miller met for the second time in the build-up for their fight on June 1st.
Joshua made further comments on his predicted punishment of the American. Most notably: “I’m going to reconstruct his face.”
After the press conference, Hearn spoke with WBN about Joshua’s recent lashing out.
“Yeah it’s good, I think last week was interesting, it got quite personal and I like it,” Hearn told World Boxing News. “Obviously Joshua wants to fight for the undisputed title and sometimes you need a bit of spite and spring in your step. I think Miller is giving him that.
“He genuinely wants to knock him out and beat him up. That’s good because you’re going to see a different side to Joshua in this fight and in the build-up.
“I believe that’s what people want to see,” he added.
Joshua and his trainer Rob McCracken also mentioned the Gold medallist’s amateur career. Including his quick progression to the Olympics before turning over as a professional.
Hearn also touched on this: “It always makes me laugh when fighters say I didn’t get everything given to me. They say things like Joshua had everything given to him, he walked into boxing. But as AJ said, he bought a pair of boots and went out. They stuck him in early on in the amateurs.
“He won two ABA titles and they stuck him in the world championships where he won silver. Then he went into the Olympics and won gold. Then he goes into the pros.
“It’s not like someone just put him in the Olympic final and he just fluked it,” he pointed out. – (📸 Mark Robinson)
Joshua mentioned more of his past in the press conference, showcasing damaged hands due to street fighting.
Recalling some of those past incidents, the Matchroom boss says people shouldn’t forget where Joshua came from.
“When you talk about the way he behaves, he was a nasty kid growing up. Don’t get me wrong but he’s got that in him. He was a bad kid growing up but he changed his life, boxing saved his life.
“You can’t take that out of him. When someone disrespects him or shoves him, this is the reaction you’re seeing and some people like it. They’re like ‘the real Joshua is coming out’ and I suppose it is the real Joshua.”
There’s no disputing that Joshua quickly became a stable house name for UK boxing. Selling out football stadiums and achieving mass PPV numbers meant the champion required a different challenge.
Now he needs to achieve that feat on a global scale.
“He hasn’t created this image. He’s become that person. A role model, an ambassador and it’s brilliant for boxing, amazing for boxing,” buzzed Hearn.
“But also without seeing thuggery, which we don’t want to see. You’re just seeing spite and I think fans sometimes like seeing that side of Joshua.
“You’ve only really seen it once before in the Dillian Whyte fight. It’s not always a good thing because if he fights off emotion. It’s not really what he should be doing.”
Joshua’s next outing at Madison Square Garden will be only the beginning as the champion himself stated he could have ten years left in the sport.
Jarrell Miller stands in the way of that. He’s managing to get under Joshua’s skin. (📸 Ed Mulholland)
“I think he’s got to control that emotion and use it to his benefit. (But he’s gotten to him) A little bit yeah. I don’t think he’s losing his mind about it, but he never spoke like this before about Miller. Now he is, so yeah I do and I think he wants to knock him out bad.
“That’s all okay, but he’s just got to make sure it’s clinical.”
Jarrell Miller made his game plan clear at the press conference predicting a win within seven rounds.
Hearn concluded by predicting the fight off of that comment.
“You probably have to say that the longer the fight goes on the more you would favour Miller. Because Miller has a fantastic engine especially for a guy who’s 24 stone.
“I think it’s going to suit him the longer it goes, although Joshua wants to do a job on him,” Hearn concluded.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller