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Joshua Says He Wants to Fight for Money, Hearn Says He Wants to Fight for Belts

Joshua says he wants to fight for money, Hearn says he wants to fight for belts featured image
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Anthony Joshua of England talks to the media during the Anthony Joshua v Jermaine Franklin Press Conference at the Hilton London Syon Park on February 09, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn have had a longstanding relationship stemming all the way back to 2013 when Joshua signed up with Matchroom Boxing prior to his pro debut. As Joshua’s profile in the UK – and outside – increased, both would rake in heaps of money over the next decade, all while both their careers spiraled upwards for the better.

“I don’t really buy it.” Hearn said when confronted about Joshua’s (24-3, 22 KO’s) comments in the press conference with Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KO’s) and his team.

“Money is important to everybody, and he always makes sure to get the best deal he can. But I believe he wants to become the Heavyweight world champion again.

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Anthony Joshua and Eddie Hearn in the stands at the OVO Arena Wembley, London. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2022. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

“He’s given so much time and energy to the media, to the next generation, to being the ambassador and role model, it’s kinda like now, ‘I’m going to do my own thing’. I think he’s ready to fight.”

Though the contradicting statement of Hearn surrounding Joshua’s motivation doesn’t mean a fracture in their relationship in any way, it does point to a concern surrounding Joshua’s mentality. Having suffered two disappointing back-to-back losses to Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO’s), Joshua’s career is currently at a crosspoint. With Joshua to face a prospect looking to make the next step towards becoming a legitimate contender in Jermaine Franklin, he now faces steep competition in his return to the ring, regardless of his motives.

However, his recent comments made in the introductory press conference of his fight with Franklin has only enflamed the sense that he is not yet ready to return to the ring or takes the sport seriously.

“I like making money.” Was Anthony Joshua’s response at the presser when asked by Eddie Hearn what his current motivation was in boxing.

“I’ve been broke, my family’s been broke, I know what this sh** means and I do it cause I’m good at it, and I hustle hard, and when it’s all said and done, no one will care about me no more.” The former unified Heavyweight world champion explained.

His comments were met with confusion as it contradicted statements he made earlier in his career where he seemed more focused on the legacy he could set. However, given his recent losses, the new outlook on his career isn’t a complete surprise.

Both Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury , both rivals to Joshua in the Heavyweight division, have also put money as a priority in their careers. Wilder eerily expressed something similar weeks ago when he claimed he would rather have the necessary finances to take care of his family, rather than be known as a good – or even legendary – boxer without having the money to show for.

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TOPSHOT – British boxer Tyson Fury (R) slams a right to the head of US boxer Deontay Wilder during their World Boxing Council (WBC) Heavyweight Championship Title boxing match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on February 22, 2020. (Photo by John Gurzinski / AFP) (Photo by JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Fury himself has approached the same type of rhetoric, evident not long after Wilder’s own interview when he talked to talkSPORT about the negotiations with Usyk for a Heavyweight undisputed bout in the beginning of February.

“I’m a prizefighter. I go where the money is.” Fury said.

“If it’s in Saudi Arabia, if it’s in Hong Kong, or if it’s in Derek’s back garden, I go for the money. That’s what I do. I go in, get my brains beat out of me for a few quid.”

It’s a striking coincidence how all three of these Heavyweights, who are widely still considered to be amongst the best in the Heavyweight division, have all indicated their intentions to fight for money, not just for the sake of it but to be fairly compensated for the damage they may suffer in the ring.

Though career paths vary from person to person, it is understandable that money would be a motivator for boxers given the dangers surrounding their work. Though many expect boxers to worry more about their legacy, at this stage of their careers, the aforementioned Heavyweights have already accomplished more than most boxers would, and their intention to secure the future of themselves and their descendants is far from a bad thing given the current state of boxers such as Prichard Colon and Gerard McClellan.