Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has been with him since his pro boxing journey with Matchroom Sport began in 2013. Hearn acknowledges that Joshua’s latest victory over Jermaine Franklin was not the type of performance that would set the world on fire, especially given Joshua’s recent slump in which he lost three of his five fights and gave up all of his major titles.
This slump has made Joshua vulnerable to high-profile free agents in other combat sports, like Francis Ngannou, who was the former UFC heavyweight champion. Hearn agrees that Ngannou’s boxing pedigree and ability are strong, but he also recognizes that any fighter in that division can knock someone out, giving them a fighting chance.
While Hearn doesn’t think Joshua fighting Ngannou will continue Joshua’s development under his new trainer, he’d love to work with Ngannou on a different project given his fascinating background. Ngannou is currently on the lookout for big-name boxing matches before returning to MMA and has spoken openly about a potential matchup with Wilder.
Hearn is happy to put Joshua’s name in the mix with Ngannou if that’s what Joshua wants, but booking Joshua with the right opponent for his return fight is Hearn’s top priority. He hopes to prepare Joshua for another blockbuster showdown against the heavyweight boxing’s best names, like Dillian Whyte, Otto Wallin, or Joe Joyce, in order to give Joshua the best chance at winning.
Hearn believes that while Joshua still has a chance of winning against fighters like Fury or Wilder, he would like to see Joshua firing on all cylinders before heading into those fights.