Eddie Hearn reveals 'big mistake' which AJ avoided ahead of Usyk fight and predicts tough fight as Usyk has 'no fear of losing'
As Press Box PR launched the new iteration of its website today, Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn spoke to us ahead of Anthony Joshua's fight against Oleksandr Usyk this weekend, revealing a potentially 'big mistake' which AJ avoided after the Tyson Fury fight fell through.
He also backed his man to be 'smart' in beating up the Ukrainian, while warning of Usyk's skills as a man who is 'not afraid of losing'...
It was difficult [to refocus] after the Fury fight fell through and that's why AJ took his time. And I think if he were to have stuck to that original date of August 14, I think it would have been a big mistake because obviously he'd been training since January after the Pulev fight for Tyson Fury. And when that fell through, it was a blow for everybody. So rather than sticking to that date, he said: 'no, let me just get my head around this.' Have a couple of weeks off. Let's reset training camp. Obviously we needed to change the style of training. We needed to change the sparring partners.
"And he got the camp absolutely perfectly right. And when he went back into camp he'd forgotten all about the Tyson Fury fight. And that was so important to make sure that he was comfortable with who he was fighting.
"Joshua doesn't fight in a specific way anymore. You know, when he was inexperienced, when he didn't really know what he was doing, he would just be very aggressive and beat people up. He still beats people up, but he probably does it a little bit smarter now. And I think in this fight, he needs to do just that. He needs to beat up Usyk in a smart way. You're not going to see him rush out in the first round throwing windmills.
"That's not his style. He wants to show that he has the skill to beat Usyk, as well as his strength and size and power. This is a really tough fight. You know, whenever you fight someone with no fear of losing it's a tough fight, especially when they've got the skill that Usyk has. We know we're going to get the very best Usyk on Saturday night. I think it's going to take a great performance from Joshua to win."