Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn gave his thoughts on AJ’s next fight against Oleksandr Usyk being shown on Sky Sports by saying that boxing is a “spiteful business” with “blocking and stopping” being involved.
Hearn made it clear in an interview with DAZN on Wednesday that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) will return to the streaming giant for fights after his rematch with unified heavyweight champion Usyk on August 20th.
The reason AJ’s fight with Usyk is being shown on Sky is the site in Saudi Arabia owns the broadcast rights for the fight, as they paid a lot of money to bring the rematch to their country.
Sky Sports was lucky enough to get the chance to show the Usyk-Joshua 2 rematch, which is a crucial one for AJ, DAZN, and Matchroom Boxing. It’s fair to say that if Joshua loses Usyk again, he will return to DAZN with his career in a bad state.
The boxing world will view him as damaged goods, which could hurt his future viewing numbers on DAZN.
Given the massive contract that DAZN gave Joshua, it must be disappointing that they won’t be able to broadcast his crucial rematch with Usyk. After all, this might be the end of Joshua’s career as a major player if he gets blown out by Usyk.
“AJ signed a long-term broadcast deal with DAZN, but this fight [Oleksandr Usyk because the rights aren’t owned by AJ or Matchroom,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show when asked if Joshua’s future fights will be shown on DAZN.
“The rights are owned by the site host, which is Saudi. We knew that they would go out and talk to everybody and ultimately look for the biggest and best deal for them.
“I don’t believe that fight [Usyk vs. Joshua II] has been announced yet on another broadcaster, but I’m just hearing the rumors just like you. We’re not involved in that process, and it sounds like it won’t be on DAZN.
“Of course, his [Joshua] future fights will be, but this was always part of the deal. This fight was outside of the long-term agreement that AJ was signing with DAZN. So, we’ll wait for an official announcement. It’s not long to go now until the [Usyk vs. Joshua 2] fight, but it sounds like it’ll be on another broadcaster.
“Yes, that’s the business,” said Hearn when asked if it was a spiteful thing for the other broadcaster to take the Usyk vs. Joshua II fight.
“We work in a spiteful business where people make decisions not based on business logic, but based on ego & bravado and blocking & stopping. Unfortunately, that’s why you always have to sleep with one eye open. That’s the game we’re in.
“But you’re right; AJ’s long-term future is with DAZN. So whichever broadcaster that gets this fight will not have future fights of Anthony Joshua’s. They will be with DAZN,” said Hearn.