By Robert Addams: Trainer John David Jackson wants Anthony Joshua to stay away from Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk right now because he believes all three of them would beat him. Jackson liked what he saw from Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) in his victory over IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) last Saturday night in Saudi Arabia,
Jackson further says he views Joshua as a top five heavyweight, but not in the top 3. He recommends that Joshua take care of his 2 mandatory defenses in 2020, and not take on Wilder, Fury and Usyk, because those aren’t good matches for him. Joshua has mandatory defenses against Usyk [WBO] and Kubrat Pulev [IBF].
Joshua’s history of getting hurt in fights would make him especially vulnerable to the right hand power of Deontay, who in his prime now. Jackson says Wilder is on a high right now, and someone you don’t want to mess with if you’re Joshua.
Joshua looked outstanding in beating Ruiz last Saturday, and he looked much improved over their first fight last June in New York. AJ trimmed down his muscles, and fought carefully. Although he could have taken risks by going for the knockout, he didn’t want to put his chin on the line against Andy like he did in their first fight.
Joshua should give away his WBO belt and NOT fight Usyk
“The fight went exactly how I thought it would go. It was a safe fight, a smart fight,” said Jackson to Boxing Social about the Joshua vs. Ruiz 2 rematch. “You can’t blame him [Joshua] for what he did, because why get knocked out a second time if you don’t have to. Could he have done more? Probably.
“Should he have done more? He did what he had to do to win the fight. It may not have been pretty in some people’s eyes, but it is what he needed to do to become champion again, and that’s what he did. I would put him in the top 5. Wilder is #1, Fury gets #2, and then you got to pick him [Joshua] at that point.
“I would tell him that if there’s someone he should stay away from right now, it would be Wilder is on a high. He has that right hand, and Joshua still gets hit with the right hand. So right now you want to leave him alone. Fury might outbox him. Those are two fighters he should leave alone,” said Jackson.
Joshua wants to fight Wilder in a unification fight in 2020, but that’s unlikely to happen. He still needs to take care of his mandatory defense for his IBF and WBO belts in 2020.
The only reason we won’t see a Joshua-Wider fight is the purse split. While Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing believes Wilder doesnt rate a 50-50 deal, it’s the only way he’s going to be able to make a fight between them.
Usyk is too slick and crafty for Joshua
“He should leave Usyk alone as well. Usyk is slick, he’s crafty. Joshua is still too tight. No one has shown him how to get loose. If they’ve shown him, then he’s not grasping it. There are certain fighters to leave a lot. If you have mandatory’s to make, then make them. If one of your mandatory’s are Usyk, then give that belt away. Give it away. We’ll fight later on in a unification and make some real money. I’m not saying he’s not making money now, but it might be bigger,” said Jackson.
Judging by the enthusiasm Joshua showed when he was told that the WBO is giving him 180 days to defend against Usyk, it appears he’s going to take that fight. Joshua is probably going to take that fight, because if he doesn’t, he’ll be heavily criticized by boxing fans.
Joshua has too much pride to turn down a fight against Usyk. But if he takes it, he could get his head boxed off by the crafty Ukrainian.
“He needs to go back to the drawing board and keep learning,” said Jackson on Joshua. “He still has things he needs to work on to become an even better fighter. But in his last performance, he did what he had to do to win, and he’s happy with that. Definitely, it helped him out,” said Jackson about Joshua’s trimmer physique,” said Jackson.
Wilder and Fury are above Joshua says Malignaggi
“A fighter a little more prepared today would have been able to overcome Joshua’s movement, and maybe put him in some more difficulty in spots, and maybe we’ll see how much confidence there was in Joshua,” said Paulie Malignaggi. “Right now, Wilder and Fury are in a league of their own in the heavyweight division. I think they’re now head and shoulders now.
“It’s starting to become more of a separation now between Wilder and Fury and the rest of the pack. It’s kind of scary because what happens when they fight each other? Do they have to keep fighting each other? Right now, I would say Wilder and Fury are both ahead of Joshua.
“More so now the comparison is Ortiz and Joshua. It’s something you’ll never see, because they’re on two separate sides of the street, but Ortiz and Joshua is a more realistic comparison. I don’t,” said Malignaggi when asked if he thinks he’ll see a unification fight between Wilder and Joshua in 2020,” said Malignaggi.
Tyson Fury wouldn’t have had any problems with the robotic way Joshua mimicked Wladimir Klitschko’s style. Fury beat the real thing in defeating Wladimir in 2015, and he would likely have no problems figuring out Joshua.
Joshua’s confidence was missing against Ruiz
“The game plan for AJ worked [against Ruiz], but there was an element of confidence missing,” said Malignaggi about Joshua not looking confident against Ruiz. “The confidence missing was forgivable because he was knocked out six months ago by this guy. So he was slanting more for safety first rather than slanting in winning and executing where he looks good.
“You gotta give him credit for going after the rematch right away. I would have liked to have seen him do it in a more confident manner where he could be more dangerous offensively, because Joshua has the kind of power to be dangerous defensively. He was so committed to getting out rather than doing damage.
“It never deterred Ruiz’s aggression It may have flustered Ruiz’s aggression, but it didn’t deter it. Part of the reason why he was flustered wasn’t because of the movement. It was because he came in as a fat tub of s— , and he ruined his chances of closing the gap in the right way,” said Malignaggi about 283 lb Ruiz.
Malignaggi isn’t faulting Joshua entirely for not possessing the self confidence in his rematch with Ruiz, because of their first fight. He still didn’t like the look of uncertainty and fear that Joshua had on his face the entire fight.
Malignaggi: Joshua was just trying to get the ‘W’ to collect $85 million
“A better fighter would have been able to take advantage of the overcommitment of the movement that Joshua had,” said Malignaggi. “Ruiz wasn’t able to, and that’s the result he gets.
“I think he needs more confidence building. I saw a guy who figured, ‘Let me just get the W, I’m making $85 million, let me get the W, because these kind of payday are guaranteed to keep coming in. If I have the belts, it doesn’t matter how I look. I just have to have these belts.’
“So once you start thinking about that, the doubt is in your mind already, because you’re not thinking about consuming your opponent. You’re thinking, ‘Let me make sure I get out of this in one piece,” said Malignaggi.
If Joshua is just looking to hang for as long as he can to collect paydays, then he probably won’t hold onto his titles for too much longer. That doesn’t mean Joshua wont still make a lot of money. He’ll still be popular, but he won’t be a world champion any longer.