By Charles Brun: Promoter Eddie Hearn paid a visit to his main flagship fighter for Matchroom today to check in on Anthony Joshua in his training camp in Dallas, Texas, ahead of AJ’s crucial headliner next month against Jermaine Franklin on April 1st at the O2 Arena in London.
Joshua looks a little puffy and less defined than he’s been in the past. He might focus more on boxing and less on hitting the weight room and dieting like before.
This is former unified heavyweight champion Joshua’s ‘New Dawn’ in starting over from scratch with American trainer Derrick James for rebuilding.
Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) has lost his last two fights against Oleksandr Usyk and three out of his last four bouts. Things are starting to look bleak for the 33-year-old.
Joshua hasn’t looked really sharp since his seventh round knockout win over Alexandr Povetkin in 2018, and even in that fight, he was staggered at one point before coming on to get the victory.
Ready for 𝘼 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘿𝙖𝙬𝙣 🌅
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) March 15, 2023
Joshua’s new training Derrick James has a real job on his hands, trying to retool his game to save his career. At this point, Joshua can ill-afford another loss, and it’s useless for him to keep moving from one coach to another, believing that if he can find the right guy, he can return to his glory days earlier in his career.
The only style that seems to have worked for Joshua is the aggressive brawling that he had through most of his career. Trying to box is a complete waste of time because the longer Joshua’s fights go, the more likely he gasses out, and is vulnerable to getting stopped or beaten on points.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) March 15, 2023
In hindsight, if Joshua had gone all out looking for an early knockout in his last two fights against Usyk, he might have overwhelmed him with punches and gotten a pair of stoppages.
When Joshua is unloading combinations on his opponents, as he did in his fight with Dillian Whyte, he’s hard to beat.
You can understand why Hearn would want to check on Joshua. Hearn just lost Joshua Buatsi & Lawrence Okolie from his Matchroom Boxing stable, with those two talents jumping overboard, abandoning ship.
With the loss of Buatsi & Okolie, it makes all the sense in the world for Hearn to shower love & affection on his remaining stars like Joshua to ensure they don’t feel ignored.