Eddie Hearn has admitted this week that Anthony Joshua is perhaps not quite a big a star as he once was.
Questions about Joshua’s profile have arisen ahead of his comeback bout against Jermaine Franklin next month, for which there are still thousands of tickets left remaining.
And Hearn told ESBR Boxing that he feels back to back losses to Oleksandr Usyk have impacted Joshua’s commercial standing.
“He’s coming off two defeats, so of course you’re not going to be the same size commercially as you were when you beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000.”
“But he’s a great fighter, he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world, I feel like he can still be the best heavyweight in the world.”
Joshua was once arguably the biggest star in the in the sport, and has become accustomed to filling out huge football stadiums whenever he fights on British shores.
However, many feel his popularity went on a steady decline after his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr at Madison Square Garden, which was then furthered as a result of back to back defeats to Usyk.
Next month’s meeting with Franklin is without question crucial for Joshua, as defeat would almost certainly spell an end to any ambitions he may have of becoming a three time world heavyweight champion.
The American gave a good account of himself in defeat to Dillian Whyte last November, however Joshua still goes into the contest as wide betting favourite, and will be looking to make a statement against the ‘989 Assassin.’
If Joshua does comes through Franklin, a big rematch with old foe Whyte over the summer could well be waiting in the wings.