Eddie Hearn believes Anthony Joshua is just three wins away from earning a trip to the Boxing Hall of Fame, but he has a formidable task in front of him to punch his ticket.
To earn a spot of honor in the HOF, the former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) must beat these three:
- Dillian Whyte
- Deontay Wilder
- Tyson Fury
There’s no question that Hearn putting the journeyman Whyte on the list is self-serving, as AJ has a fight against the faded 35-year-old next month on August 12th, and as much attention he receives, the better it could be in terms of PPV buys.
You can argue that any of these fighters would be far, far superior to make it on Hearn’s three-fighter list for AJ to make it into the HOF:
– Arslanbek Makhmudov
– Zhilei Zhang
– Jared Anderson
– Filip Hrvovic
– Joe Joyce
– Frank Sanchez
Makhmudov might be too much of a killer for this version of Joshua, but if AJ wants to get into the HOF, he must earn it. They don’t give those spots away like a box of Cracker Jacks.
Does Joshua have it in him to beat these three?
“If you beat Dillian, Wilder, and Fury, you’re in the Hall of Fame. No pressure,” said Matchroom head honcho Eddie Hearn to talkSPORT on the formidable task in front of Anthony Joshua to make it into the boxing Hall of Fame.
With the 34-year-old Tyson Fury, he’s a shaky pick as well to be among Hearn’s three-fighter list for Joshua because he hasn’t fought a talented opponent since 2021, and he’s starting to look very, very old.
Those two years away from quality opposition have aged Fury badly. He needs back off whatever is causing him to start to look so weatherbeaten around the gills because he looks more like a 45-year-old now than the guy that beat Wilder in 2021.
“In terms of the heavyweight division, I think from a top end in terms of championship level, Usyk is coming back to fight with Dubois. Good luck to both of them, but it’s not. I don’t think it’s quite caught the attention of the public the way it should have,” said Joshua to Lightweight Boxing.
“With [Tyson Fury], obviously people wanted the Undisputed fight, that was it. That’s what they wanted, and they didn’t get it, so they’re not happy with that.
“There’s obviously a lot of young fighters out there to compete with, people that want to cross over and challenge themselves against former champions or former world title challengers. But what I’m noticing is that those guys aren’t even fighting themselves.
“So what is it that people want? The reward, I think. People want to be rewarded. But now, in terms of British boxing on its own, this [Joshua-Whyte] is a great fight, I think, for the interest. Who knows what will happen on the night?”
Does Joshua have enough to beat Whyte on August 12th? If not, he needs to think about retiring because if he can’t beat this level of a fighter, he’s going to last long when he gets in the ring with Wilder.
“As much as they say me and Dillian have got a rivalry, I wish him well, but I think now this is going to capture the attention of the public,” said Joshua. “So yeah, I think this is a great fight to kind of save this void period.
“Imagine what would you have done? Is there anything else going on in British heavyweight boxing? Just for the imagination and to keep the interest kicking over, it’s like a good [thing fighting Whyte], and it’s a good dust-up. This is a serious fight.
“I feel like Dillian, like many other fighters in this modern era of boxing, get written off quickly. When you look back and you read about sports, obviously, times change, and how people view certain things is different.
“But you can sometimes look back and get some realities of what’s happening now because it’s quite similar, and Dillian would still be considered as a serious contender if he was to fight someone else. Yeah, he’s been through what he’s been through, but you know he’s going to try and give it [his all].
“Anyone that’s in there will give you a problem. Anyone that gets in that ring, and they train for a fight has a chance of winning, and Dillian, he’s coming again,” said Joshua.