Deontay Wilder has launched a blistering attack on Eddie Hearn, accusing him of ‘milking’ Anthony Joshua and claiming he is forcing the beaten champion into a rematch he doesn’t want with Andy Ruiz Jr.
In an exclusive interview with Extra Time on talkSPORT, the WBC heavyweight belt holder insisted Joshua was never as good as people thought after he lost the first fight of his professional career – and his IBF, WBA and WBO titles – to Ruiz Jr in New York on Saturday night.
He then went on claim Joshua ‘quit’ against Ruiz Jr as he was ‘mentally broken’ by the pressure put him on by Hearn and his Matchroom team.
“Hearn has manipulated people from the get-go,” said the American.
“Joshua will never talk for himself. Hearn has put so much pressure on him. He has sold a lot of emotional garbage.
“He put out a lot of things that weren’t true and it was a lot of pressure. So Joshua not only had to come out and say certain things and back his words up but he also had to back his promoter’s words up as well and I don’t think that was fair for him.
“I told Hearn ‘you are milking him’ and everything I said has come true to this point.
“It [Joshua’s defeat] was 100 per cent mental. So much pressure was on him. Fans want to see me and him fight and that is a big thing. My last fight I delivered what I always deliver – a devastating knockout – and that was a lot of pressure.
“I heard he got knocked out in sparring and his his dad didn’t want him to fight but Hearns being Hearns are greedy. They got to keep the generational wealth for their family and there was a lot at stake.”
Hearn announced on Tuesday night that he had triggered the contracted rematch clause with Ruiz Jr and Joshua himself says he ready is face the Mexican again, with the date likely to be in November or December this year.
But Wilder insists Joshua does NOT want to fight Ruiz Jr again and is not convinced the rematch will happen.
“We’re tired of hearing what Eddie says. This man has said so many different things,” he continued. “We ain’t listening to what Matchroom says. He is only going to do what’s best for him and his career, not Matchroom.
“I don’t think it’s gonna happen. Did you see what just happened? This man is mentally broken. He quit. Joshua quit in that ring. To a challenger.
“That’s the most disappointing thing about it. Being a champion, being boosted up so much, and you go in there and quit, that’s a sign. When he spat that mouthpiece out for the first time, that’s a sign.
“The referee told him to come forward, he stayed there. He put his hands on the ropes. The referee told him to come forward. He stayed. That’s another indication ‘I don’t want to fight no more’.
“He gave up, he quit – because of so much pressure. His promoters put so much pressure on him.
“He probably didn’t want that much pressure on him. He shouldn’t have had to think about what I’ve done. I don’t worry about anybody else.
“It was a lot of pressure and people will never understand that if you are not in that position. I heard he was having a breakdown in the dressing room.
“Hearn said the rematch is going to happen. You all think he’s going to take it? Anthony said in the press room after he doesn’t know, he might take some time off.
“Until Joshua says he’s signing that contract and he is fighting, that’s when I’ll believe it. Until then, you shouldn’t hold your breath.”
Wilder says Joshua should now forget what other people are telling him, and make his own decision on his future plans.
“I don’t know what his mindset is at this point in time. Maybe he wants to take off,” he said.
“I would tell Joshua that whatever he wants to do, he should do. He has done a great service for others. He has been this type of person for others.
“Now it is time to worry about yourself. You want to take off, you take off. It is your career, it is your life.
“It is not cool in any way for any of us to get in there and get hit in the head. Any doctor will tell you that the head is not meant to be hit. The brain is not meant to be shook like that.
“People think we are robots. You don’t understand if you are not in there. This is a brutal sport.”