Exclusive: Hearn hits back at Teddy Atlas' Joshua vs Usyk claim

Eddie Hearn has responded to Teddy Atlas after the American questioned the ability of the judges for Anthony Joshua's fight against Usyk.

The Hall of Famer analysed the upcoming heavyweight showdown in London on his podcast 'The Fight' and suggested Usyk could get robbed by a decision on away territory.

Usyk, from Ukraine, is undefeated from 18 bouts and has won the World Boxing Super Series as well as becoming undisputed cruiserweight champion and retiring Tony Bellew in 2018.

The 34-year-old challenges Joshua for the WBA, IBF and WBO titles in his third fight at heavyweight, following wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora.

Atlas fancies the challenger's chances of emulating Evander Holyfield's achievements by becoming a two-division world champion - as long as the southpaw sticks to his game plan - although he is unsure it Usyk will get a decision on the scorecards.

"How is he - a Ukrainian kid - going to get a fair shake? Around 70,000 in there, it's not going to be easy but if he does win and deserves to get his hand raised and called 'the new heavyweight champion of the world' - how's it going to happen?

"I mean really? You would have a better shot of going over there and becoming prime minister," Atlas said to Ken Rideout on his podcast.

"Again talking the truth. Our sport is a corrupt sport - yeah I said it - and we work and we try to make it not corrupt we do because what is not corrupt is what these warriors do inside here in this squared circle. That's noble, that's real, that's special that's not corrupt.

"They put themselves out there to dare to find out if they're good enough, can go to a dark place which not many can go to. A scary place and if they can light a torch in that place and find their way - wow that's what they do.

"And then they go and get robbed by some dope with a pencil in his hand outside the frigging ring who most of the time has never taken a punch in his life - are you kidding me? You expect me to sit here and not say something about it. You're wrong.

"That he's going to have to figure that out and if his management team makes their money then they're making plenty of money too and they're supposed to be on top of that to earn their money and make sure he doesn't get robbed if he wins.

"When everyone talks about the bigger guy - David and Goliath - the bigger guy but you know what, he's got to win by being the smaller guy by turning around and flipping the script instead of looking at all of the advantages of the bigger guy being Joshua.

"Look at the advantages of being the smaller guy: quicker, faster, more crafty, better technique maybe, better legs, faster hands, doing all those things. The smaller guy has the advantage and that's how he is going to win."

I'm more worried about the Ukrainian judge

Hearn - who will promote Joshua for the rest of his career under the Matchroom Boxing banner - has hit back at Atlas.

"Why? You have one Ukrainian judge. One UK judge and one from America. He's [Atlas] a very knowledgeable man but he talks without knowing anything about the situation so he wouldn't even know that there is a US and a Ukrainian judge on the panel.

"In fact, I'm more worried about the Ukrainian judge on the panel quite frankly," Hearn exclusively told Planet Sport.

Joshua has committed his long-term future to Hearn but it is undecided if he will remain on Sky Sports Box Office or join forces with DAZN - the streaming platform Hearn is contracted to promote for until 2025.

"He's in a great position," Hearn added. "Win lose or draw he's the biggest star in Britain but if he wins he can write his own check.

"Sky, we had a great relationship we'll certainly extend talks with them, DAZN are going to come in and try make a major play for him and many other platforms as well. To be honest, it hasn't been a major focus, just win on Saturday."

Read more: Joshua vs Usyk tip - expect home advantage to play a huge factor in result

Latest news