Eddie Hearn has confessed that Anthony Joshua is star power is not as strong as it once was.
Questions about Joshua’s profile have been incessant ahead of his comeback bout against Jermaine Franklin next month, for which there are still tickets remaining at the 02 Arena.
And Hearn admitted recently that he was nervous for the make – or – break fight, and that he feels back to back losses to Oleksandr Usyk have impacted Joshua’s commercial standing.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Hearn said.
“Absolutely [it’s make or break].
I’m nervous about the fight. He’s coming off two defeats and we saw emotionally the position he was in after his last fight.
He’s got a new trainer and he’s taken himself to Dallas with a very small team.
He’s lost two fights on the bounce, he’s no longer a world champion, of course his star has fallen. I still believe he’s top 3 heavyweight in the world and he wants to come back and regain his heavyweight title.”
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 observers 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.
Franklin 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 on his return.