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Joshua: Defeating Wilder and Parker would me alongside Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson

By Juan Flores: Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) believes wins over heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker will put him alongside boxing greats Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson.

If Joshua beats Wilder and Parker in 2018, he would possess all 4 titles in the heavyweight division, which hasn’t been done before. Joshua sees that as worthy of him being viewed in the same class as Ali and Mike Tyson.

Beating Wilder and Parker will give Joshua all the titles, but it won’t put him alongside Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Wilder and Parker aren’t good enough heavyweights for Joshua to achieve the lofty status in boxing that he seems to crave. If Joshua can stick around and rule the heavyweight division for 10 years, then I think he has a chance to be mentioned with greats like Ali and Tyson. It’ll depend though. The heavyweight division has been poor in recent years with weak heavyweights holding titles. If a new crop of talented heavyweights emerge, and if Joshua can beat all them one after another, then that will help his status. It doesn’t look like Joshua is going to have the longevity in boxing the way that Ali did. It’s hard to imagine Joshua on top of the division when he’s in his 30s.

Joshua won the IBF title 2 years ago in beating Charles Martin by a 2nd round knockout in his 16th fight as a pro. Earlier this year, Joshua added another title to his collection with an 11th round knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko to pick up the vacant World Boxing Association title on April 29 in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Joshua’s next goal is to try and win either the WBO or WBC title in his next fight in early 2018 against Joseph Parker or Deontay Wilder. Joshua wants to win both of those titles in 2018. Those are Joshua’s most pressing goals. If there’s time left over in the year, then Joshua is interested in facing Tyson Fury in a big money fight.

”One hundred per cent because we have done something credible, tangible and we have the assets to prove it. I always say the proof is in the pudding,” Joshua said to Dubai Eye 103.8. “When I negotiate the fight, once it’s done, I’ll announce it. I don’t like to talk about ‘I’m this, I’m that’ when I haven’t got it. So once I have it and I’m on the journey, say the fight is a week away, I’ll say: ‘I’m on the verge of mentioning my name alongside the greats like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. At the minute, I’m a prospect and I know what the future holds but I’ll just a keep a lid on it for now because we still have so far to go,” said Joshua.

Joshua would be the one the only one mentioning his name alongside the likes of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson if he beats Wilder and Parker in 2018. Ali dominated the heavyweight division for a lot longer than Joshua has. For Joshua to compare himself with Al or even Mike Tyson seems to be very presumptuous on his part.

Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn might try and sell him as being in the same class as Ali and Mike Tyson, but it’s doubtful the boxing public would. Ali had a huge wins during his career despite missing 4 of his prime years after he was banned from boxing due him refusing to be drafted.

These are the big names on Ali’s resume:

• Floyd Patterson

• Joe Frazier – x 3

• George Foreman

• Ken Norton x 3

• Mac Foster

• Earnie Shavers

• Leon Spinks

• Joe Bugner

• Jerry Quarry

• Jimmy Ellis

• Earnie Terrell

• Cleveland Williams

• Sonny Liston x 2

• Archie Moore

In contrast, these are Joshua’s big names:

• Wladimir Klitschko

There’s a huge imbalance between the guys Ali fought during his career and the fighters Joshua has fought. If Joshua beats Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker in 2018, then he’ll have 2 names to add to that list. Those still won’t be enough to put Joshua in the same class as Ali. Even if you throw in Tyson Fury to Joshua’s list, it won’t be nearly enough for him to be alongside Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson. It’s not just the guys that Joshua has fought though. It’s the way he looks when he fights. He’s not dominating the way Ali and Tyson did when they were in the zenith of their careers. Tyson was blasting guys out quickly, and looking near invincible. Ali was clowning his opponents, and toying with them. He was so much better than them.

As far as Joshua being viewed in the same breath as Mike Tyson, that’ not going to happen either. Tyson wasn’t looking as vulnerable as Joshua has been looking. When Tyson was in his prime and taking boxing seriously, he was light years ahead of Joshua in talent, power and stamina.

Tyson didn’t get the most out of his career as he should have unfortunately. He doesn’t have a lot of big names on his resume, but he is still very well respected by the boxing fans that remember how good he was during his prime. Tyson looked so much better than Joshua is now. There’s no comparison between the two.

Joshua’s other best wins of his career have come against these guys:

• Carlos Takam

• Dominic Breazeale

• Charles Molina

• Eric Molina

• Dillian Whyte

Those are B-level heavyweights. None of them are A-class level fighters. Joshua is going to need to beat better fighters than this for him to be viewed alongside Ali and Mike Tyson.

Right now, Joshua is more of a step down from Lennox Lewis level heavyweight. He’s not as good as Lewis obviously. Lewis was able to fight hard for 12 rounds without tiring, and he wasn’t looking nearly as vulnerable as Joshua is right now. Joshua looked beatable against Wladimir and Takam. He also looked like he was on the verge of being knocked out by Whyte in 2015.

Laila Ali, Muhammad Ali’s daughter, thinks Joshua needs to work on his conditioning and go “old school,” considering that he runs out of gas after he throws a barrage of punches.

“He’s a big fighter and he has a good foundation, but I think he might need to go back to the basics and do some wind sprints, so when he’s ready to let off a barrage of punches, he doesn’t just get tired and just be done,” said Laila Ali to Fighthub in talking about Joshua. “There’s a certain way you have to train as a fighter. Sometimes these big guys workout on weights too much, and they need to take it back old school and really work on conditioning, the type of conditioning you need in the ring. That’s just my 2 cents. Conditioning was my thing,” said Ali.

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