Promoter Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua’s career could come to an end prematurely if he loses for a second time against Andy Ruiz Jr.
Speaking regarding what has now become Joshua’s most must-win fight, Hearn says his star man has to overturn his crushing stoppage loss.
Joshua is set to be pitted against Ruiz again by the end of the year, possibly back in the United States or on home soil in the UK.
Despite many warnings, most notably from Bob Arum and Amir Khan, Hearn is plowing on with rematch plans.
The Matchroom admits he’s highly apprehensive about the potential outcome.
“There’s so much pressure on the rematch. If he loses that second fight then his career is not in a great place,” Hearn commented on his new BBC podcast No Passion, No Point.
“At the moment, he’s lost his world title belts. He’s got a chance to win them back.
“If he was to lose that second fight, it’s not career-ending. But it starts to make you think about your career. That’s long before we expect that moment to happen.
“The rematch is by no means a foregone conclusion,” he added.
On the dangers Ruiz will bring to the table once again, Hearn concluded: “Ruiz’s confidence is going to go through the roof. AJ’s confidence probably isn’t going to be the same.
“I think he was probably too overconfident.
“What we saw was one of the biggest heavyweight shocks of all time. But we also saw an amazing fight. Now it’s down to Anthony.”
WBN understands a venue for Ruiz v Joshua is not a foregone conclusion at the moment. This is despite Hearn stating the contest would head to British soil.
The Principality Stadium in Cardiff would be the top choice, although with DAZN bosses eyeing new subscriptions, they will have a big say in the final decision.
As things stand, Wales doesn’t seem ideal. But with Wembley out of commission due to weather fears, heading back to US may be the only true option.