Eddie Hearn admits Anthony Joshua has lost appeal with fans as Brit with tickets still unsold for Franklin comeback
EDDIE HEARN has admitted that Anthony Joshua has lost some of his box office appeal.
The two-time world champion, 33, is still reeling after his back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
PAEddie Hearn admits Anthony Joshua is not the ‘same size commercially’[/caption]
But Joshua will hit the comeback trail – which he hopes will be a road back to world title contention – on April 1 with a must-win showdown against Jermaine Franklin at the O2.
However, despite AJ previously having sold out stadiums at Wembley and Tottenham, there are still thousands of tickets unsold at the 20,000 East London arena.
And his Matchroom promoter Hearn feels that the successive losses to Usyk have had an impact on Joshua commercially.
He told ESBR Boxing: “He’s coming off two defeats, so of course you’re not going to be the same size commercially as you were when you beat Wladimir Klitschko in front of 90,000.
“But he’s a great fighter, he’s one of the best heavyweights in the world.
“I feel like he can still be the best heavyweight in the world.”
The former heavyweight champ is looking to get back into title contention, however, and is starting things off with a tasty clash against Franklin.
The Michigan-born fighter lost a narrow decision to Dillian Whyte at the tail-end of 2022, but most thought he did enough to win the fight.
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Anthony Joshua vs Jermaine Franklin – Date, live stream, TV channel and all you need to know about heavyweight bout
Should Joshua beat Franklin, a rematch with Whyte, who he knocked out in 2015, would be well on the cards.
Joshua’s career is effectively on the line, however, so he can’t take Franklin lightly.
Franklin, 29, will be looking to catapult himself into the heavyweight title picture himself, and a win over Joshua would give him some newfound fame in the US.
Robert Garcia is no longer Joshua’s trainer, with the Brit set to partner up with Derrick James out in Texas.
Joshua will be hoping some fresh eyes in his corner can reignite his career, with future super-fights against Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder still on his mind.