By Scott Gilfoid: Floyd Mayweather Jr. says IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) should be the “A-side” when it comes to the negotiations for his unification fight against unbeaten WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze’ Bomber’ Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) when it comes down to who gets the bigger money for their potential fight in 2018.
Mayweather says Joshua brings in big numbers in ratings, and he has an entire country following him in the UK. Mayweather notes that Joshua won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, and he recently got off the deck to defeat 41-year-old Wladimir Klitschko on an 11th round knockout on April 29 at Wembley Stadium in London, England.
“If the fight does happen, I think it can happen in the UK,” said Mayweather to Fighthype in talking about the Joshua vs. Wilder fight. ”I think It’s bigger money in the UK. That’s just my opinion. I think everybody is overlooking Anthony Joshua. This is a guy that’s a gold medalist,” said Mayweather.
Mayweather thinks the Joshua-Wilder fight should take place in the UK, because there’s more money to be made than if the fight were to take place in the U.S. Wilder and his management would likely agree with that. Never the less, Wilder wants a 50-50 split for the Joshua fight. It doesn’t matter what Mayweather is preaching about Joshua being the A-side and bringing in bigger numbers. If Joshua wants a chance to win Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title, he’s going to need to give him what he wants in agreeing to the 50 percent demand. If Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn aren’t willing to give Wilder the loot that he’s asking for, then they need to move on. Wilder isn’t going to lose sleep at the Joshua fight not happening. The 6’7” Wilder is one of those types of persons who stand by his principals. He’s not going to give in, even if it means he won’t get the biggest payday of his career. You can argue that it’ll bother Joshua a heck of a lot more than it will Wilder that the 2 of them will never fight.
“Everybody’s overlooking Anthony Joshua,” said Mayweather in continuing to praise AJ. ”Joshua showed the heart of a lion, got hit by one of the Klitschko brothers, got right back up and kept fighting like a warrior. Anthony Joshua is the A-side,” said Mayweather.
Mayweather branding Joshua the A-side means zero when it comes to the negotiations between Wilder and AJ. What it comes down to is whether Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn want the chance to fight for Wilder’s WBC belt or not. If they value the belt enough, they’ll pay Deontay the 50 percent of the cash that he’s looking to get. If not, then they need to clam up and move on. Deontay is probably not going to give in. He’s from Alabama, and those guys aren’t going to give in. If Joshua wants the fight, he’s going to pay Wilder’s asking price; it’s as simple as that. I think it would be smarter for Joshua to give Wilder the 50-50 deal so they can fight it out. If Joshua doesn’t, he’s going to get beaten sooner or later by one of the guys Hearn matches him up against, and his career will likely gown downhill from there. At least while Joshua is still on top, he needs to take the fight with Deontay while it’s still there for him. If Joshua waits too long, the fight will pass it’s sell by date like the Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook match-up, and there won’t be any point in them facing each other. Right now is the time to make the Joshua-Wilder fight, because both guys are still at the top. A year from now, I don’t know if that’s going to be the case.
Wilder, 32, is going to do fine with his career regardless. He’s carving his own path in defending the most prestigious of the heavyweight titles in holding down the World Boxing Council belt. Joshua is the one that wants that belt. He knows what he needs to do to get a chance to win the WBC belt. If Joshua isn’t willing to open up his piggy bank to give Wilder 50 percent of the cash for that fight, then he’s going to need to focus on fighting the guys that his promoter Eddie Hearn matches him up against.
Sooner or later, Joshua WILL get beaten. He’s not looking very solid right now as we’ve seen in Joshua’s last 2 fights against Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam. Maybe Joshua was over-hyped by boxing fans. Maybe that’s why he’s starting to look so poor. It could be that the money that Joshua is making is turning him soft. Joshua has made massive money in his short 4-year pro career. He lives like a king in a huge mansion in the UK. Living like that is a lot different from someone that is hungry and willing to work hard all the time to be successful. Joshua’s hobby of lifting weights might be the biggest culprit that has hurt his game. Weight lifting like the kind that Joshua has been doing has slowed him down, hurting his stamina and making him look like a bodybuilder rather than a boxer. Like with a lot of people, Joshua can’t seem to back off with his weight lifting. He’s got the habit, and he’s just not letting go of it, even though it’s painfully obvious that the weight lifting is hurting his career. You can argue that Joshua is more concerned with looking good than in fighting good, because the muscles he’s put on since turning pro has not helped him one bit. Joshua has packed on 30 pounds of muscle since he turned pro in 2013, and it’s way too much weight. If anything, Joshua should have lost 5 pounds rather than adding 30 lbs. of useless muscle to his 6’5” frame. Joshua was a much better fighter when he weighed 220 lbs. in my estimation. Look at the video of Joshua when he was weighing 220, and compare it to how sluggish and slow he’s looking now in fighting at 254. It’s like looking at 2 different fighters.
”Anthony Joshua can give it and he can take it,” said Mayweather in pointing out that Joshua can take punishment when he needs to. ”Deontay Wilder, he’s a knockout artist. Anthony Joshua, he’s a knockout artist,” said Mayweather.
Joshua didn’t seem to take it too well in his fight with Klitschko, did he? Wladimir had Joshua down in the 6th round after he finally opened up with his offense. Up until then, Wladimir had kept his offense under wraps. But once Wladimir opened up with a small salvo of punches, Joshua was on the canvas, looking hurt and badly winded. It was Wladimir’s mistake to back off and not finish the job. Any top fighter with any sense would have finished the job at that point. I don’t know what got into Wladimir, but he thought he could win the fight by boxing AJ the rest of the way. It was perhaps was of the biggest blunders in the history of the sport. It’s too bad Wladimir’s late trainer Emanuel Steward wasn’t still with him, because there’s no way he would have allowed him to let Joshua hang around. Steward would have been all over Wladimir after the 6th round to finish the job, which he clearly would have done. As such, I don’t agree at all with Mayweather with his assertion that Joshua “can take it” just as well as he can give it. If Joshua could truly take it, as Mayweather maintains, he wouldn’t have been on the canvas against Wladimir, would he? Joshua was also hurt in his fights with Dillian Whyte and Carlos Takam. I mean, it’s common knowledge that Joshua’s chin isn’t the best in the heavyweight division. The one big chink in Joshua’s armor, besides his horrible stamina, is his chin.
Joshua is vulnerable to being hurt, because his punch resistance isn’t what it should be. One explanation for Joshua having a weak chin is his conditioning issues. Once Joshua gets exhausted, he’s vulnerable to getting hurt by almost anyone. Dillian Whyte isn’t known for being a big puncher, and yet he had Joshua staggering around in the 2nd round of their fight in 2015. The reason Joshua was hurt was because he was tired from having expended a lot of energy throwing punches. If Whyte hadn’t hurt his left shoulder in the 2nd round, he probably would have finished the job in round 3 of that fight. Whyte’s stamina was almost as bad as Joshua’s. Whyte looked like he trained for the fight at a pizza parlor instead of a boxing gym. He was flabby and totally out of shape for the Joshua fight. It was smart for the wily Eddie Hearn to sign Whyte up for a fight with Joshua with him so out of shape. Hearn is a clever promoter. He picked the right time to match Joshua up against Whyte. If Hearn had made that fight a year earlier when Whyte was in shape, Joshua probably would have lost the fight.
”I truly believe Anthony Joshua is the A-side, because he has a huge following [in the UK],” said Mayweather. ”He has a country [backing him] and look at the numbers [pay-per-view and ratings] he gets when he fights different fighters. Look at his numbers,” said Mayweather.
The U.S is a much bigger country than England and the entire UK. Wilder has the potential to bring in a much bigger audience in the U.S than Joshua does in the UK, which has a population just a little bigger than California at 65 million compared to 40 million. UK has a small population. Wilder can bring in a massive amount of PPV buys for a fight against Joshua if the match is marketed right. It obviously hurts the fight that Joshua is an unknown in the U.S with the casual boxing fans. If Hearn was willing to take Joshua over to the U.S for 3 or 4 fights before making the fight with Wilder, it would bring in much better PPV numbers than it will if the fight takes place under the present conditions. The casual fans in the U.S have no clue who Anthony Joshua is because he’s never fought in that country. Joshua’s fights that have been piped into the U.S on Showtime have been largely mismatches against the likes of Dominic Breazeale, Eric Molina and Carlos Takam. Those were awful fights. If Joshua had taken on some dangerous guys like Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller, Alexander Povetkin, Joe Joyce, and Daniel Dubois, those fights would have been well received by the U.S boxing fans. They’d have love to see Joshua fight those talents.
We look at Deontay Wilder’s last fight and he went out there and done what the [expletive] he’s supposed to do in great fashion,” said Mayweather in commenting on Wilder’s 1st round knockout win over 39-year-old Bermane Stiverne on November 4. ”But we look at the guy that he fought, 6 feet, if that, 6 feet, 40 years old. You got to realize Anthony Joshua showed a heart of a lion [against Wladimir Klitschko],” said Mayweather.
Bermane Stiverne is a good fighter. There was nothing wrong with him as Wilder’s opponent last November. Stiverne came into the fight as a former heavyweight world champion with a reputation for having a steel chin. It’s not Wilder’s fault that Stiverne couldn’t stand up to his right hand power shots. If Wilder had landed those same shots on the chin of any other top heavyweight in the division, we would have seen the same exact results. If Wladimir had been nailed by the right hand that knocked out Stiverne, it would have been the same thing. Wladimir would have been on the canvas counting stars. I’m just saying.
“Anthony Joshua is like a quiet assassin. Deontay Wilder is like a pitbull that got let off the leash,” said Mayweather.
This at least I agree with from Mayweather. I compare Wilder more to that of a shark than a pitbull. Wilder reminds me of a dangerous hammerhead shark the way he goes after his prey.