Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed all about his one-hour phone call conversation with Anthony Joshua after the Brit suffered a second successive loss for the first time in his professional career.
AJ was looking for revenge in Saudi Arabia last weekend when he took on Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, but unfortunately for the two-time heavyweight champion, he was unsuccessful in his quest.
After 12 gruelling rounds, it was Usyk who had his arm raised via split decision, retaining his heavyweight straps in the process.
Despite putting in arguably a better performance than the first fight, Joshua still fell short and still couldn’t get the better of Usyk, who has now defeated him twice.
In the aftermath of the fight, it was very apparent that AJ was devastated and heartbroken with the result, and with himself.
He threw two belts out of the ring before grabbing the microphone and letting his emotions get the better of him.
The Brit has since apologised for his actions post-fight, admitting he let the moment get to him.
Now, Joshua’s promoter Hearn has revealed the two had an hour-long phone call after the fight, where the latter had to remind the former just how successful he has been in his professional boxing career.
As per The Mirror, Hearn said: “I just finished 57 minutes with AJ on the phone, I said to him ‘AJ you’re so smart. You’ve got your own mind and eyes, look at what you’ve done. Go back to that 17 or 18-year-old kid that really didn’t even have a future. You’ve changed the sport in this country, maybe even globally. You’re a two-time world heavyweight champion’.
“‘You’ve filled stadiums around the world. You’ve filled stadiums around the world and inspired people. Come on, you couldn’t have been there at that age thinking you were going to achieve this in your life. You’ve got to fall in love with the sport’, he loves boxing.
“I also said to him ‘remember one thing, you did well on Saturday. You boxed well,’ those people he talked about getting respect from, they respect him for that performance.”
Of course, no one likes losing, especially professional athletes, so it shouldn’t really surprise us that Joshua reacted like he did.
However, it seems like Hearn is the perfect man to have in his corner; someone who will hype him up and offer him a dose of encouragement.
Joshua will be back. We don’t know when, but it will happen.