Eddie Hearn SLAMS criticism of Anthony Joshua and says Sky 'wouldn't be doing boxing' if it wasn't for Brit | The Sun

MATCHROOM chief Eddie Hearn has hit out at people for criticising Anthony Joshua, claiming the Brit heavyweight has "made boxing the size it is".

Hearn, 43, also fired a shot at AJ's former broadcast partner Sky.

Watford warrior Joshua, 32, is bidding to become a three-time world champion when he takes on Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

AJ came under scrutiny for his first defeat to the Ukrainian last year, and some pundits have suggested he could RETIRE from boxing if he loses the rematch this weekend.

But Hearn has slammed the criticism of his fighter and also aimed a dig at Sky, suggesting AJ is responsible for much of their success.

Joshua left Sky earlier this year in a huge £100million deal to sign for DAZN, although the former have paid £25m to show Saturday's fight in the UK and Ireland.

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Hearn said: "I don’t like the fact that with everything Anthony Joshua’s done for this sport, a lot of people want to turn their backs and under appreciate the guy’s resume and the role that he has played for all of us.

"Without Anthony Joshua, me, Matchroom, we wouldn’t have had our success.

"A lot of people wouldn’t be in a job at Sky and I’m telling you now, I’m not even sure Sky would be doing boxing so let’s give this young man the credit.

"Without this guy, there wouldn’t be YouTube outlets interested in the sport, you wouldn’t have the businesses flying out around the world."

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Hearn went on to credit Joshua for turning boxing into a sport that regularly sells out arenas all over the world for huge pay-per-view fights.

Over 60,000 fans were at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to see AJ outpointed by Usyk last September, while 90,000 watched the Brit knock out Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in 2017.

And Hearn continued: "He has made boxing the size it is and we need to be thankful for this guy and give him that respect.

"He’s a great individual, he’s a competitor, he’s a winner and I take it personally when I see people switch and make little comments because they’re thinking about their company rather than thinking about a man who has helped their company so much."

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