Eddie Hearn Says Anthony Joshua Will Not Retire If He Loses Rematch With Usyk

By James Slater - 07/14/2022 - Comments

Some people have suggested former two-time heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua will retire from the sport if he loses his upcoming rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

This line of thinking goes something like this: Joshua, if he is beaten by Usyk a second time, perhaps by stoppage this time, will lose any and all remaining confidence he has left, and Joshua, who sees himself fighting and winning at top level and top level only, will not want to continue boxing.

Who knows, maybe this could be how things turn out; three strikes and you’re out, as the saying goes. But Eddie Hearn says he would be “shocked” if AJ retired from boxing even if he did lose to Usyk a second time. “Boxing is everything” to Joshua, Hearn said in speaking with Intu Boxing, and as such he will “be around for a long time.”

“No, I would be shocked. AJ loves fighting; boxing is everything to him,” Hearn said when asked if he thinks Joshua will retire if he loses the August 20th rematch with Usyk. “When he lost to Usyk, the amount of people in the industry messaged me, saying, ‘I think he should retire now.’ I said, ‘He’s just lost to the pound-for-pound number one or two. He’s not had that many fights.’ He loves the sport, and I’m sure he’ll be around for a long time, but obviously, we’d much rather win.”

A lot of this could come down to just ‘how’ Joshua loses, if he does indeed lose (and plenty of people think Usyk will defeat Joshua a second time). If AJ were KO’d or stopped, if he were badly beaten up by Usyk, then maybe he would be so demoralized that he would walk away.

But if it’s a close, competitive fight – or if Joshua actually wins the rematch – there are some massive fights out there for him. Deontay Wilder (via Shelly Finkel) has said he will be looking to fight the Usyk-Joshua winner, but maybe, if he does return, Wilder will look at facing Joshua even if Joshua loses next month. Let’s face it, a Wilder-Joshua fight will always be massive, even with the two former champs having two or three losses on their records.

There is so much riding on the August 20 the rematch, and everyone (Tyson Fury included) is waiting to see what happens. Only after this fight is over with will we be able to see where the heavyweight division is heading. Will Usyk fight Fury if he wins? Will Usyk fight Wilder? Will Joshua fight Fury if he wins? Will Joshua fight Fury and/or Wilder if he loses? There are a few possible scenarios, that’s for sure.

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