Anthony Joshua has one shot for promoter Eddie Hearn to regain some control over the heavyweight division in a rematch with Andy Ruiz.
As things stand, Hearn inadvertently handed the complete heavyweight division and all it’s titles to Al Haymon when choosing Ruiz as Joshua’s late replacement.
Joshua had previously turned down over $80 million to face Deontay Wilder. Hearn ended up PAYING Haymon for the privilege of Joshua eventually losing.
It’s a sad fact. And ultimately puts a massive amount of pressure on Joshua to give Hearn a solid standing in the United States.
Holding the keys to the Matchroom kingdom, Joshua was the golden goose in Hearn landing a lucrative deal with DAZN.
Without him, it’s hard to see how Hearn holds the amount of clout he previously did when negotiating any future extension.
Nailing down Joshua to a long-term deal was essential. It’s the only positive outcome from what transpired at Madison Square Garden. A result which has clearly dented Joshua’s reputation stateside.
Heading to the United States and immediately being relieved of his titles is disastrous for Joshua. The Briton will now miss out on any possible fights with Wilder or Tyson Fury should he lose to Ruiz again.
Haymon is calling the shots, providing Ruiz can repeat his Joshua win. Many believe he will due to the first showing, even at a UK football stadium.
Truth is, there’s no mending Joshua’s frailties, Something all three of the top division stars have displayed.
Joshua’s place on the throne was down to savvy matchmaking and keeping him undefeated for as long as possible.
In the end, Jarrell Miller’s pullout and misdemeanor have been proven the worst thing to ever happen to AJ.
Choosing Michael Hunter over a dangerous puncher like Andy Ruiz was key. Especially when you weigh up the Haymon/Hearn factor.
Plucking a Premier Boxing Champions fighter out of obscurity and handing him four world title belts couldn’t have been any worse an outcome.
Should Ruiz once again prevail later this year, Hearn faces being locked out of title contention for the remainder of Joshua’s career.
Previous bad blood and insults towards Wilder and the PBC family have squarely come back to haunt Hearn. The Matchroom boss has to do whatever necessary to give Joshua back his platform.
Furthermore, the UK return has now become the most must-win fight Hearn will ever experience.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay