By Scott Gilfoid: British/Commonwealth heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) believes he’s got possibly a year and a half before he challenges for a world title against one of the champions.
Joshua, 27, wants to spend the next 18 months working on his boxing skills to try to improve enough to win a world title eventually. Joshua had an uneven performance in his last fight against Dillian Whyte this month, and it’s painfully obvious that he’s going to need to improve dramatically if he wants to win a title.
Whyte had Joshua hurt in the seven round of their December 12 fight this month, and he likely would have finished the hulking 6’6”, 245lb fighter off if not for a shoulder injury he sustained in that round. With the punching power that Whyte was throwing with in the first two rounds of that contest, it is hard to imagine Joshua being able to make it more than another round or two before Whyte finished him off.
“I’d like to say 18 months as time is a virtue. Experience is key for me right now, so the next 12 months will be about building,” Joshua said to skysports.com. “If a shot did come, we would take the opportunity, but if we had it our way I’m sure we’d keep on building for another 12 to 18 months.”
Well, I do not think a shot is going to come for Joshua in the next year and a half, so he would be better not to be discussing such things. It is only going to frustrate him by bringing it up. Here is the reality of Joshua’s situation; He is not ranked high enough with any of the sanctioning bodies right now to force a fight against any of the world champions.
That is just the way it is. By the time that Joshua is ranked No.1 as a mandatory challenger to one of the champions, we would probably be looking at another year and half to two years. Once Joshua is ranked as a mandatory challenger to one of the champions, he will likely need to wait another year or so while that champion exhausts his voluntary defenses. As such, we could be looking at Joshua having to wait another 2 ½ years before he gets a crack at one of the world titles, and that is under a best-case scenario for Joshua.
I could definitely see it being another 3 years before Joshua gets a world title shot. By that time, Joshua will be 30-years-old, and probably nearing 300lbs in weight. If Joshua keeps on putting on muscle weight, I can see him winding up in the 270s and being slow as molasses and easily beaten by whichever champion he challenges. I mean, Joshua is already slow, but with another 25 pounds of muscle weight on his frame, I think he will be like a bodybuilder who stumbled into a boxing ring rather than a weight room by mistake.
“I’ll take my time, watch the division. I am a work in progress and once I get a crack at these boys they best run scared because when I come I’ll be coming with force,” Joshua said.
Therefore, Joshua thinks the top fighters should become intimidated of him when he is ready to fight for a world title in 18 months’ time. Oh boy, I think Joshua has been dreaming a little too much, and has created a glorified pipe dream about himself as the hero who causes the top talents to flee from him. I hate to drizzle on Joshua’s parade, but I don’t see any of the top fighters in the heavyweight division being afraid of him; not after the performance he put in against Whyte this month.
If anything, the top talents are even more convinced that Joshua is a flawed, flat-footed fighter with too much muscle on his frame and with stamina issues that will surface once he fights a good heavyweight. Whyte probably would have done the job on Joshua if not for his shoulder injury. Instead of Joshua moving on to face an easy mark like Dereck Chisora, he should wait for Whyte’s shoulder to heal so that the two of them can face each other again with a 100 percent healthy Whyte.
Joshua will be fighting in the first quarter of next year on April 9 at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Chisora is a possibility for Joshua, but it is unclear whether that fight will happen. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says Joshua wants to fight for the EBU heavyweight title, which was won last Saturday night by Robert Helenius.
It is nice that Hearn wants that fight to happen, but I do not think it will. Helenius was not mentioning Joshua’s name after the fight. As such, unless the EBU is going to force Helenius to fight Joshua, then I do not think the fight is going to happen. Helenius’ mandatory challenger is Chisora, not Joshua.
“There’s nothing wrong with fighting Dereck Chisora, but I don’t think that’s the route we will be going,” Joshua said.
Well, if Joshua is not going the Chisora route, then I guess Hearn is going to need to find someone else, because you can’t always get what you want. If Joshua and Hearn want Helenius, I do not think it’s going to happen.