Anthony Joshua needs a year off from boxing says Johnny Nelson

By Boxing News - 12/17/2022 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: Johnny Nelson feels that Anthony Joshua needs a year off from boxing to rest his mind & body after his two defeats at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.

Nelson believes that the 33-year-old former two-time heavyweight champion Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) needs to hit the “reset” button to reenergize himself to get back to the top from whence he came.

In the meantime, Nelson wants Joshua to visit different gyms, train with other coaches, and spar with their fighters. After a year’s layoff, Joshua should be ready to retake his perch at the division’s top.

On the other hand, Joshua has been fighting only once a year since 2020, and it’s questionable whether a year layoff would lead to favorable results for him.

Joshua needs a year off

“Now AJ is at the crossroads now where he’s going to different trainers, and then he said, ‘I might take a year off.’ I think he should take a year off,” said Johnny Nelson to iFL TV about Anthony Joshua.

I think he should sit back, reset, spend time at many, many gyms, training, submerse himself in it, feel comfortable with it and say, ‘Now, I’ve reset, now I can do this.’

“Look at what he’s achieved. He started boxing when he was 18 years old,” said Nelson when asked if it was a good idea for the 33-year-old Joshua to take a year off.

“He’s achieved ridiculously good things, but he’s still broken. He’s still not over the two losses from Usyk.  He still has got to get his strength back, his belief back.

“AJ, he needs to reset. He needs to think, ‘I need to be back here again. He needs his motivation to fight, and he needs them for the right reasons because it’s not for the dollars. He has more money than you and I will ever spend,” said Nelson.

A long rest will do AJ some good

“So he’s got to do this because he wants to do this because he has a purpose to do this,” Johnny continued about Joshua needing a long, long rest. “He doesn’t just what to make up the numbers. So these are the things that are coming into play right now.

“Derek [Chisora] is going out there entertaining everybody, but getting his head smashed in,” said Nelson about him wanting the 38-year-old journeyman Derek Chisora to call it a day and retire following his loss to Tyson Fury on December 3rd.

“It’s to the point where even the fans are saying, ‘Oh God.’ AJ has lost two fights off a bounce, and now he’s got to sit back and think, ‘I’ve got to make the right decision.’ He needs to make it through the head, not the heart, because if he fights from the heart, he’s fighting for the wrong reason.

“He’ll decide, ‘I don’t want all this.’ So he’s making the right decision to go train with different people, getting more experience in gyms, and finding, finding comfort.

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“I think both fighters [Joshua and Chisora] need to look at the big picture. What I’m saying is AJ needs to have a rest, rest his mind, rest his body from competitive boxing to actually go back to gyms and do what he’s doing now.

“It’s best that he submerses himself in boxing and in gyms all over the place, and spar with different people to give himself that real confidence boost to say, ‘I can do this’ because right now, you can’t say his confidence is still sky-high because he’s been turned over twice.

“To be a champion again, he’s got to down there again. That’s my little run over,” said Nelson.