EDDIE HEARN seemingly took aim at Joe Joyce moments after the Brit's first professional loss.
The Putney pounder suffered a sixth-round TKO defeat to China's Zhilei Zhang at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday night, a loss which came courtesy of a referee stoppage due to a completely closed right eye.
Olympic silver medallist Joyce repeatedly hyped up a potential Battle of Britain with Anthony Joshua ahead of his ill-fated clash with Zhang.
And The Juggernaut's defeat to the Chinese clubber seemingly prompted Hearn to take a thinly-veiled swipe – which was in the form of a post praising AJ.
Along with a picture of a muscular Joshua during training, Hearn wrote on his Instagram story: "Been there, done it. Seen it all."
Boxing fans were quick to comment, with one saying: "Queensberry as a whole spent the full week having digs & jibes at Joshua, laughing away thinking Joyce would walk through Zhang.
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"Eddie Hearn throws a wee bomb out there & they lose[s] their s**t."
Another said: "Let’s hope Joyce isn’t written off as much as AJ has been after a bad loss- should get behind both."
Along with a picture of Joshua dropping Zhang during their London 2012 Olympic clash, another said: "Levels."
One remarked: "Should’ve been him to starch Joyce tonight, opportunity missed."
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Another chimed in: "Eddie lost has chance to cash in on Joyce fight."
Joyce, 37, struggled to deal with slick southpaw Zhang's piston-like straight left from the get-go and was rocked on several occasions.
His eye was nearly completely shut after the fifth, which prompted the ringside doctor to take another look at it.
And he seemingly informed referee Howard Foster that Joyce could no longer see out of the eye, which prompted the official to call a halt to proceedings.
A dejected Joyce – who broke Daniel Dubois' orbital socket in their 2020 domestic dust-up said: "It’s an eye for an eye again now, I got my eye done.
"It’s like what I did, I got a bit of payback from Dubois I guess. Maybe it’s karma.
"He just kept on getting my eye.
"I’m fine, I’m completely fine, but now it’s closed up and I can’t see out of it now.
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"I haven’t fought a southpaw for a long time, so I need to look over the tape.
"I thought I could have carried on, I was taking his shots fine, but it’s just unfortunate that the eye closed up. But I’ll be back."
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