Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn has told the British-Nigerian that he will have to beat Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury to earn his spot in the boxing Hall of Fame.
The Matchroom Boxing boss has guided Joshua’s entire professional career after the Watford native won Olympic gold in 2012, and brought him to two runs as the unified heavyweight champion. But there is still debate over Joshua’s credentials as a truly elite heavyweight of his era, given his results on the major stage.
Unlike Fury and Oleksandr Usyk, who have never tasted defeat in their professional career, Joshua has lost three fights; twice to the Ukrainian and once a shock knockout against Andy Ruiz Jr. He immediately rectified the Ruiz loss, but was unsuccessful in his rematch with the former cruiserweight, leading many to doubt his claim to a top spot in the division.
In new footage showing Hearn and Joshua conversing backstage at the press conference for his fight with Dillian Whyte, the pair can be see discussing the topic. And the promoter tells his client, “If you beat Dillian, Wilder and Fury, you’re in the Hall of Fame. No pressure.”
The 33-year-old will have the opportunity to tick the first of those names off that list next month.
Joshua has already stopped Whyte once; his last fight before moving on to world honours, but will rematch his long-time rival on August 12 at the same venue in London’s O2 Arena. And should he win again as expected, he has agreed to face Wilder in a massive grudge fight this December in Saudi Arabia.
There is still massive interest in a fight between Wilder and Joshua, even though neither man holds the belts in the division after being dethroned by Fury and Usyk. At one time, there was a clamour to see the duo, who held all of the belts between them as well as spotless undefeated records as professionals.