By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua is expected to take a confidence-booster level fight for his next contest in November or December. Joshua lost to unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk last Saturday night in a rematch in Saudi Arabia.
After the fight, the 32-year-old Joshua blew a gasket, throwing two of Usyk’s belts out of the ring and going into an expletive-filled rant that was disturbing for the fans. To say that Joshua had utterly lost his senses is putting it lightly. He acted like a spoiled brat that hadn’t gotten what he wanted.
With three defeats in his last five fights, Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) is in a situation where he badly needs a victory, and he cannot afford to absorb another loss.
Although AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn will likely say that losing again won’t hurt his popularity, I think it will. Joshua can’t lose to whatever ham-&-egger Hearn feeds him in December because it would be the final straw.
Tony Bellew believes that with the pressure off Joshua’s shoulders for the first time in ages, we’ll see an improved performance from him, especially given that he’s expected to be matched against a non-threat.
This might be wishful thinking on Bellew’s part because Joshua has looked gawdawful lately, and his stamina is just as poor as its always been.
“The weight of the world is off his shoulders,” said Bellew when speaking on The DAZN Boxing Show.
“We’ll see a different man the next time he gets in that ring because what’s the worst thing that can happen? This boy is not finished, and he has a long way left,” said Bellew about Joshua.
It may not make a difference that the pressure is off Joshua for his next fight, as it will not change anything.
Even if Joshua looks good against whatever body that Hearn digs up for him, he will still have the same problems when he’s matched against a quality opponent in a year or two.
Dillian Whyte is one of the names being floated as a possibility for Joshua’s fight in December.
The 35-year-old Whyte (28-3, 19 KOs) has always been an erratic fighter, but things have gone downhill for the aging contender, with him losing two out of his last three fights. At this point, it’s not a given that Joshua beats Whyte because his confidence is shot to pieces.