Eddie Hearn has warned Anthony Joshua he needs to “snap out of it” after the former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titleholder revealed he had become disillusioned with boxing.
Joshua, 29, lost his unified heavyweight championship to prohibitive underdog Andy Ruiz Jr at New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 1.
The highly anticipated rematch is scheduled to take place in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia on December 7.
Joshua admitted during an interview with Sky Sports that he has lost “a bit of passion” for the sport after being unable to secure fights with former lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and WBC boss Deontay Wilder.
His promoter Hearn has now urged him to change his attitude if he wants to get revenge on Ruiz Jr.
“I think he’s just got to snap out of it,” said Hearn to the Independent. “I think he was disillusioned with the sport because he wanted to fight Deontay Wilder.
“He couldn’t get that fight and as he said in the interview, he didn’t really want to fight Andy Ruiz. But tough, you fought him and you fought a real hungry guy.
“I think the great thing about this promotion is that now, for the first time next week, he looks a man in the eyes who is the only man to beat him as a professional.
“It’s going to be absolutely huge. The whole world will stop to watch this fight.”
Earlier this month Joshua engaged in a very public war of words with former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, a move that was seen as uncharacteristic of the former champion.
Hearn continued: “He ain’t going to be giving Ruiz no belts to hold because he doesn’t have them anymore.
“He doesn’t even want to talk to him, he wants to knock him clean out. He didn’t have that feeling last time but it’s a new game now, a new game. Josh wants to take his head off.
“He’s thinking ‘I’ve tried to be the role model, I’ve tried to be that guy but people have slagged me off and said what they want to say – now I’ll say something back’.
“Now he gets criticised for calling people things, like Lennox Lewis who has criticised him and given him sly digs his whole career.
“Josh can’t win so he’s decided, do you know what, maybe it’s a new approach, bring back the nasty Josh. We hope that nasty Josh comes out for the Ruiz fight.”
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