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Anthony Joshua starting to look lean

By Tim Royner: Anthony Joshua seems to be leaning down in weight recently. Joshua posted a video clip of him on his social media site where he looks very slender. There’s also talk of Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) having gotten his weight down to 244 pounds, which is 10 lbs. lighter than the 254 lbs. that he weighed for his last fight against Carlos Takam on October 28.

With Joshua, 28, already down to 244 before the New Years, he could get a lot thinner during his training camp for his unification fight against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) for their fight in March or April of next year. Of course, it depends on what Joshua will be doing during training camp.

If Joshua is going to be hitting the weight room for 2 to 3 hours a day and bulking up with his protean powders and other bodybuilding supplements, then his weight will obviously shoot back up to the 250s once again. That’s not good for him, because he’s starting to show that he doesn’t have the stamina to carry about all the muscle weight that he’s been putting on his frame.

Joshua weighed 243 lbs. for his fight with Dominic Breazeale in 2016, and 244 for his title challenge against Charles Martin in April of last year. Joshua looked fast, strong and showed no signs of gassing out in either of those fights. It’s possible that Joshua might be at his best in the low to mid-240s than he is when he’s over 250. Joshua doesn’t have a naturally big frame like Wladimir Klitschko. The same weight on Wladimir doesn’t make him look bulky. But when Joshua puts that weight on, he looks like a bodybuilder, and he clearly slows him down and hurts his stamina.

If you look at Joshua at the start of his career against Matt Legg, he was much faster and capable of throwing shots without getting winded. Joshua weighed 236 lbs. for the Legg fight in 2014. Joshua looked a lot better in that fight than he did in his last 2 fights with Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam. Joshua still had the bad habits back then of using no head movement and keeping his hands low, but he was a lot faster. Joshua was at his absolute best in his first 3 fights of his career.

This is Joshua in his first 3 fights of his career:

• Emanuel Leo – Joshua’s weight: 230 lbs.

• Paul Butlin – Joshua’s weigh: 232 lbs.

• Hvoje Ksicek – Joshua’s weight: 229 lbs.

It was after these 3 fights that Joshua started to bulk up with the weights for some reason. In Joshua’s fight after his match against Ksicek in which he weighed 229lbs, Joshua bulked up 11 lbs. in coming in at 241 lbs. That’s a big difference in weight from one fight to the next when you factor in that it appeared to be pure muscle that Joshua had put on in less than 3 months. It’s easy for a fighter to add 11 lbs. when it’s fat they put on, but it’s extremely hard to pack on muscle of that type in a short period of time. Joshua’s weight wasn’t a real issue until May of 2015 when he started fighting close to 250. It didn’t hurt Joshua back then because he was still facing weak opposition that his promoter Eddie Hearn was matching him up against. Joshua is no longer fighting weak opponents, and he’s clearly struggling.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum thinks that Joshua will knocked out by Parker and WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

“I give [Parker] a good chance [to KO Joshua],” said Arum to Fighhub. ”I think Joshua is a really good, exciting fighter. Real great marquee and everything, and he’s very ballsy. But I don’t think he has a good chin. I really think his chin is suspect and I think that Parker, who may not be the greatest boxer in the world, but Parker has a chin like iron. And I think he’ll stay in there with Joshua and he could knock Joshua out,” said Arum.

Joshua’s tendency to go after his opponents in his full speed ahead type of fighting style is going to lead to him taking a lot of head shots. Joshua has that Arturo Gatti type of fighting style. As you saw with Gatti, he was able to take care of most of his opponents, but he struggled when he fought guys that could box or fighters that could give it back to him with even more power. Joshua’s fighting style is going to lead to him getting knocked out eventually. The wear and tear of Joshua trading with the big guys is likely going to shorten his boxing career. The guys that fight Joshua are super motivated, and so amped up that they’re fighting above their normal level. Those guys are going to force Joshua to take a lot of heavy shots if he’s not able to box a little.

“I really believe that. I think the same thing about [Deontay] Wilder – I think Wilder could knock Joshua out,” said Arum.

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