By Scott Gilfoid: British heavyweight Anthony Joshua (14-0, 14 KOs) still believes that it’ll be a major achievement if unbeaten Dillian Whyte (16-0, 13 KO) can take him past the 3rd round this Saturday night in their fight in London, England.
Joshua’s previous 14 fights at the pro level has him thinking that few fighters in the sport can go past three rounds with him. What’s interesting here is that Joshua wasn’t noted to be a knockout puncher when facing the best in the amateur ranks, but that all changed after he turned pro and started being matched against weak opposition that weren’t at the same level as the guys that Joshua had been facing as amateur.
In other words, Joshua’s opposition has gotten worse as a pro than it was while he was in the amateur ranks, which is obviously very sad because it should be the other way around.
However, that’s a product of Joshua signing with promoter Eddie Hearn and opting to face the guys that Hearn has been feeding him rather than putting his foot down and insisting on facing better guys in the pros than he was facing as an amateur.
“I think he’s [Whyte] capable of taking me past three rounds, but that will be the achievement he takes from the fight – he’ll be the man that took me past three rounds,” Joshus said via Fightnews.com.
Joshua doesn’t seem to be able to connect the dots about why he’s suddenly started knocking guys out left and right since turning pro. That’s kind of disappointing, because he sounds intelligent when he speaks, but he doesn’t appear to grasp the simple reality of his situation.
All you can think is that he’s incredibly naïve when it comes to seeing his own career and putting the pieces together about why he’s all of a sudden knocking guys out at a record pace. Joshua hasn’t improved as a fighter in my view since turning pro, and that’s something that’s echoed by WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
In fact, I’d say that Joshua has gotten worse as a pro than he was as an amateur, because he’s not using any finesse at all. It’s like he’s got a crayon and is scribbling around on a piece of paper in trying to create art and people are complimenting him instead of telling him that he doesn’t have clue one in what he’s doing. Joshua uses no form at all in his fights.
When the bell rings, he rushes forward and starts throwing flurries of arm punches against the poor saps that his promoter Eddie Hearn has dug up for him. The opposition invariably falls over or the referee steps in and stops the contests simply because his opponents aren’t throwing anything back. All of Joshua’s fights have played out in the same way. His mostly elderly opponents stupidly back up to the ropes and cover up like sparring partners while Joshua flurries on them until they either fall or the referee stops the fight.
Joshua doesn’t believe that Whyte’s previous win over him will have any bearing on what happens on Saturday night. I don’t know that I agree with that. Since Joshua hasn’t changed his fighting style at all, I can’t see the outcome being any different than it was the previous time they fought each other. Joshua was a brawler when Whyte fought him in 2009, and he’s still fighting the same way as a pro. Nothing has changed with Joshua other than him putting on 30 pounds of muscle and becoming slower than the fighter that Whyte beat six years ago.
“He [Whyte] has beaten me and believes he can do it again. He’s been in camp with Wladimir Klitschko and that will give him a great platform Wladimir’s set up and approach to training is first class,” Joshua said. “He believes that he’s a powerhouse. He has weaknesses that I can exploit though.”
Whyte is a powerhouse, whether Joshua wants to admit it or not. Whyte is clearly one of the hardest punchers in the heavyweight division. He might not be the hardest puncher in the division for a single shot, but he has the ability to pound away at his opponents like a young George Foreman, and that makes him very dangerous. That’s who Whyte reminds me of.
Whyte is just like a young Foreman with his power and punching style. If Joshua doesn’t want to face the fact that Whyte is a powerhouse, then I think he’s doomed to another defeat against him. It seems to me that Joshua is only thinking about his own punching power rather than factoring in that he’s with a guy with even better punching power than himself, who can throw his shots at closer range than him, and who is a far better inside fighter.