Founder of Matchroom Boxing, Barry Hearn, has admitted that Anthony Joshua would be wise to stay clear of a fight with Tyson Fury following his slightly underwhelming comeback victory against Jermaine Franklin – at least for now.
‘AJ’ defeated his American counterpart by a comfortable unanimous decision on Saturday night, however many fans were expecting an emphatic knockout ahead of the bout.
Nevertheless, the two-time champion is back in the winning column and has silenced any whispers of retirement, leading to a number of his fellow heavyweights itching to challenge the 33-year-old.
One of many opponents being touted for Joshua’s next fight is WBC champion and British rival, Tyson Fury, who is without a dance partner following the collapse of his proposed undisputed clash with Oleksandr Usyk.
However, Hearn feels that Joshua would need a few more warm-up fights before taking on ‘The Gypsy King’, he told iFL TV.
“I would think that Tyson Fury would look at that performance and say ‘I am ready to fight him’, that takes a big obstacle away.
He [Joshua] has to decide whether he wants to go for the big payday or if he wants to build and learn for a bit longer, in which case he needs two or three more warm-up fights. The public don’t like that, they are crying out for it, is it a time to take the money? Maybe.”
“In today’s world, the temptations for making that fight and earning a colossal amount of money may outweigh the old-fashioned common sense of people like me.”
“Definitely [two more warm up fights] – but we live in a commercial world.”
Hearn said he’d like to do it like the old days – have ‘AJ’ fight every couple of months around the country to get ring time in front of his new trainer.
Another option, which is perhaps more likely, is that Joshua completes an unofficial trilogy with rival Dillian Whyte, who defeated ‘AJ’ in the amateurs.
‘The Body Snatcher’ seems keen on making up for his 2015 professional loss and taking advantage of what he currently sees as a vulnerable version of Anthony Joshua.