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Just How Good Is Anthony Joshua?

Anthony Joshua

By Scott Jarvis: Anthony Joshua is a new breed of title holder in that despite holding a major world title he’s relatively unproven.

The towering Briton has fought just 17 times against limited opposition, knocking out everyone as he goes, yet it wouldn’t be entirely unfair to label the rising heavyweight star a “work in progress”. As exciting as he is, Anthony Joshua’s game appears to be somewhat incomplete. Yes the power is there and he certainly looks the part but there are a few things in his arsenal that appear to be conspicuously absent or lackluster.

Vs. Dominic Breazeale

In his most recent outing against fringe contender Dominic Breazeale, Joshua looked strong and walked away with a 7th round KO though this writer couldn’t help but notice that the champion utilized very little head or upper body movement. It would be foolish to expect Tyson-esque movement from Joshua but a little movement can keep an opponent guessing and adds another dimension to a fighters defense. As we’ve seen in previous fights, AJ was again slow of foot against Breazeale and spent most of his time plodding at the over matched and outgunned Breazeale. More alarmingly there were also moments where it appeared as though Joshua was gasping for air which is often a sign of poor conditioning. In addition to the aforementioned the champion also utilized a one-two combo ad nauseam. While it was enough to get past the very limited Breazeale, Joshua is going to need a more varied offense should he plan on defeating the upper echelon of heavyweights out there. Perhaps Joshua finds himself in fights where those added gears simply aren’t needed or perhaps he doesn’t have those tools in his toolbox. For now he’s exciting, delivers violent knock out’s, and has the attention of the boxing media as well as enthusiasts.

Stepping Out From Behind The Shield

In this era of boxing a world title is often used as a shield. Belts offer inexperienced, manufactured, and mediocre fighters a sort of safe haven in which they can avoid tough and dangerous opposition until it’s time to cash out. Though there are plenty of fighters whom use their titles in this egregious manner, Joshua’s management does so in an effort to give their upstart time to grow and mature. Although it’s easy to overlook and forget the holes in a fighters game when he’s got a 100% KO ratio those holes remain. Eventually Anthony Joshua will be tested either when he either faces some dicey competition or his handlers decide a payday is just to big to pass up. Until such a time occurs we can only speculate on just how good Anthony Joshua is or isn’t.

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