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“When AJ Joins Your Club”: Eddie Hearn Responds to Former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Following Anthony Joshua’s Criticism for Fighting Francis Ngannou

Published 01/17/2024, 1:13 AM EST

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At times, when a lot is at stake, doubts seemingly run crisscross all through the narrative. Undoubtedly, fans are happy. Within the first quarter of the new year, they get to see two of the most sought-after fights of present times. Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will fight next month for the undisputed championship.

Then, in March, Anthony Joshua will take on Francis Ngannou. Ideally, the fans’ delight would have overshot the boundaries of happiness. However, the way it appears, the elation seems to have ushered in a fair share of misgivings. The first heavyweight fight might receive a pass for the history it’s going to make. But the second one? Yesterday, boxing great Lennox Lewis reportedly raised a few questions concerning the soundness of the prospect. However, it seemingly caught Eddie Hearn‘s attention early today. The Matchroom boss then wasted no time in humoring the heavyweight division’s last undisputed title holder.

Fruitless Endeavor: Lennox Lewis

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The former heavyweight champion initially called it a “spectacle”—the  October 28 match between Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury. ‘The Lion’ pressed that even the March 8 fight with Anthony Joshua is nothing short of a pageant. But, giving credit where credit is due, the former heavyweight champion lauded Ngannou for capitalizing on the opportunities that came his way.

Whatever is said and done, the developments laid bare the heavyweight division’s current state of affairs, as Lennox Lewis mentioned. A user suggested that after the last bout against Fury, Ngannou has credibility.

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Responding to the comment, ‘The Lion’ added that the fight with ‘The Predator’ barely adds a punch to Joshua’s resume. He would be carrying everyone’s expectation to win the bout. Nevertheless, in his case, how’s he going to benefit if he turns out to be the winner?

For that matter, what precisely would be his learnings from inflicting a loss on a boxer entering his second pro boxing match? If Joshua fails to win, then it will be disastrous for his career. Tyson Fury reached that point last October, said Lewis.

It was about time. Eddie Hearn probably thought it prudent to release the ace of spades. Revealing the strategic move in the negotiations, he updated the latest news on the probability of an all-winners clash.

But there’s light at the end of the tunnel: Eddie Hearn

The new undisputed champion to come out of the Fury-Usyk match might have to defend his title from the winner of the Joshua-Ngannou fight. The English promoter posited that if ‘AJ’ comes out as the winner on March 8 and then defeats the newly crowned undisputed champion, he would also join the exclusive undisputed club of which Lennox Lewis is also a big part. “Listen in to yesterday…the winner fights the winner of Fury v. Usyk for Undisputed, and when AJ joins your club, I know you will be delighted for him,” said Eddie Hearn.

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Undoubtedly, a lot is at stake for Anthony Joshua in comparison to Francis Ngannou. He had been a unified champion, so undisputed should be the natural follow-up. However, Lennox Lewis rightfully worries that a loss would once again be put in front of the naysayers and skeptics. After the Usyk losses, it took nearly a year and a-half for him to stand where he is today. So as he turns 35 this year, would he have the wherewithal to launch another comeback?

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Do you agree with what Lennox Lewis pointed out in the Joshua-Ngannou fight? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

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Edited by:

Arijit Saha