The Matchroom Boxing director told iFL TV Joshua’s injuries pre-fight came from an intense physiotherapy session, not sparring
Eddie Hearn has dismissed reports suggesting Anthony Joshua was knocked out by Joey Dawejko before his stunning defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr.
The Mexican underdog shocked the world last weekend when he battered the Brit in their world title fight at Madison Square Garden to leave New York with the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight belts.
As soon as the final bell rung and Mike Griffin waved the contest off, conspiracies began to spring up as the inquest as to how Joshua had been beaten so convincingly.
And while the 29-year-old made no excuses for his loss, one popular rumour was that AJ was floored by Dawejko in his training camp and was still feeling the effects at the Garden, but Hearn insists nothing untoward happened.
Asked about the rumours, he told IFL TV: “A journalist messaged me the next day, ‘We heard he got knocked out by Agit Kabayel’. I said Agit Kabayel wasn’t in the camp.
“They said, ‘Who else did he spar with?’ I said he sparred with Joey Dawejko. [They said] ‘Oh, Joey Dawejko knocked him out’.
Probed further on the rumours, he continued: “I’m not in camp. I speak to AJ, I speak to Rob [McCracken], I speak to all the people. No [he wasn’t knocked out], not at all. They had two spars. Not at all.
“How many times has AJ had a fight where the rumours are he’s been dropped in camp? Every fight. And actually the only one that when you speak to AJ he talks about is David Price dropped him in sparring. And actually he’s not the kind of guy who would sort of deny or hide from it.”
Asked if he was dropped in sparring, Hearn added: “No, no. I mean, again, I wasn’t there. I speak to 12 people that were there. Absolutely not is the response.”
Before the fight, fans were concerned with the Olympic Gold medallist’s glazed expression and subdued ring walk. During the week, there were even suggestions Joshua was sporting a black eye due to his intensive sparring regime.
But the Matchroom Boxing director explained it came from an intense physiotherapy session.
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He explained: “It wasn’t a black eye. It was from a compression machine that went on his face and it took the skin off. Did you see the injury? It was where he’d had skin taken off his face. You don’t get that from getting chinned and knocked down.
“So it was crazy all the reports [being concussed]. You think he sparred the week of the fight? He was in New York from Saturday, he wasn’t sparring.
“And even if he did get hurt – which he didn’t – do you not think fighters spar and get hurt in sparring? I had a sit down with AJ and asked did you get hurt in sparring and he said no.”