Anthony Joshua looking really muscular for his May 31st fight at Wembley Stadium
— Kevin Mitchell (@KevinMitchell6) April 18, 2014
By Scott Gilfoid: As you can see from this photo, 2012 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua (5-0, 5 KO’s) appears to be hitting the weights awfully hard in building up his physique with additional muscle size. I don’t know about you, but Joshua is now looking more like a bodybuilder now than an actual fighter, and I think he’s not helping himself at all by adding useless muscles to his frame. Joshua has looked robotic and slow since turning pro, and you have to think that it’s all that muscle that’s slowing him down.
Joshua has a fight scheduled on the Carl Froch vs. George Groves on May 31st at the Wembley Stadium in London, UK. Joshua’s bout will be an 8 round fight, and he’s supposedly going to be matched against a good opponent. I’ll believe that when I see it. In his last fight, Joshua defeated 39-year-old journeyman Hector Alfredo Avila. My guess is Hearn will match Joshua up with someone just a tad bit better than Avila.
I’d like to see Joshua fighting someone like Michael Sprott, Audley Harrison or Sam Sexton, but I seriously doubt Hearn will take that risk with him. Joshua has been getting hit easily by the weak opposition that Hearn has been matching him against, and you don’t want Harrison or Sprott testing his chin. Those guys might be journeyman level fighters, but they can punch a little, especially against a slow fighter with tons of muscles like Joshua.
The worry here is that Joshua will become his own worst enemy by overdoing it with the weight lifting and resistance exercises, and end up as just another slow-moving heavyweight with little defense or hand speed. We’re already seeing how slow and easy to hit Joshua is in his fights against the 3rd tier fodder that his promoter Eddie Hearn is matching him up against.
It would be a pity if Joshua were to sabotage his own career by going overboard with weightlifting and ending up looking like a professional wrestler rather than an actual fighter. I mean, I’m sure he could take the muscle off if he were to quit lifting and start eating less and doing more aerobic work on the track. But sometimes fighters aren’t the same after they lose a ton of muscle, which is a good reason why you don’t want to mess up your body by putting on too much muscle to begin with.
The 6’6″ Joshua already looked over-muscled to me when he won an Olympic gold medal at the London Olympics. His lack of flexibility and explosiveness was clearly evident even back then, as he won two controversial bouts against Erislandy Savon and Roberto Cammarelle to win the gold medal. Those guys were faster than him, as were able to land the cleaner looking shots, but Joshua still got the gold medal in a controversial fashion.
Joshua should probably think about stripping down to about 220lb to fight at that weight. By being lighter, he might find more hand speed and become more flexible. Right now, Joshua fights like someone who just did 100 pushups in a row until they had a serious burn. The speed just isn’t there. By taking off 20-30 pounds of muscle, Joshua might find speed that he never thought he could have.