Joshua’s title obsession: Ducking or strategic vision?

By Charles Brun - 12/19/2023 - Comments

Anthony Joshua says he values winning another world title more than fighting Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, or Oleksandr Usyk. AJ seems to have things mixed up in his head, believing that winning belts means more than facing the fighters that fans want to see.

Joshua’s obsession with winning belts over battling the best in the heaving division isn’t going to result in him making more money like he mistakenly believes it will.

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Unfortunately, fans will listen to what Joshua is saying and view this as the kind of thing a ducker would say, as it gives him an excuse for swerving Deontay, Fury & Usyk.

Joshua’s world title wins:

  • Charles Martin – IBF
  • Wladimir Klitschko – WBA
  • Joseph Parker – WBO
  • Andy Ruiz Jr – IBF, WBA & WBO

Joshua never beat anyone good to win his world titles, and he chose to bypass Deontay and Fury during their best years. Wladimir was 40-years-old when AJ beat him, and nowhere near the fighter he’s been years earlier.

Once a fighter wins a world title, they get stuck making mandatory defenses against a lot of no-names that fans have never heard of before and have no interest in seeing.

Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) states that years from now, fans will look at his record and will only note how many championships he’s won rather than the fighters he’s fought during his professional career.

The reality is, that fans NEVER look at how many world titles a legendary fighter has won. They focus on the fights they had during their careers that left a memorable impression. For example, when fans remember Muhammad Ali, they concentrate on the world titles he won. They remember him for his battles against Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Ken Norton.

AJ prioritizes belts over battles

“I got to win. That’s what I’m focused on, Otto Wallin,” said Anthony Joshua to Secondsout when asked if he’s thinking about a fight with Deontay Wilder.

“Of course, wouldn’t you?” said Joshua on his preferring to fight for a world title rather than fighting Wilder. “Okay, from an entertainment point of view. Well, of course, I’d fight Wilder 100%.

“You put Fury, Wilder, Usyk, or the championship, I’d say the championship. It’s not that I don’t want to fight these guys. It’s that I value the championship way more than anymore.”

If Joshua is only concerned about winning titles, he can probably pick up a vacant one eventually without risking another loss or two. But it would mean much more if he showed courage and fought Deontay, Jared Anderson, Filip Hrgovic, Zhilei Zhang and Arslanbek Makhmudov.

“You’ve never heard someone say, ‘This person fought this person.’ You do hear they were a five-time champion of the world. That lives and brings more money, more business, more than anything,” said Joshua.

“For me, when I’m looking at where I’m going to be in 20 years from now. They’re never going to say who I fought. They’re just going to know my credentials and what I’ve done.”

Joshua’s focus on winning world titles over everything else shows that his judgment is clouded, and he’s seeing things right. Winning titles means something if you’re fighting an elite-level fighter, but not if you’re capturing the belt from a fighter that isn’t rated highly and isn’t well thought of by fans.

Joshua would rather duck

“What I’m saying is I’ll fight Wilder, I’ll fight Fury, and I’ll fight Usysk, but if you put it on a board where it’s one or the other, I’ll go for the heavyweight championship, if that’s where my career is going to end,” said Joshua. “I may have ducked, but fighting for a championship doesn’t mean you’re never going to fight again.

“You’ve got to defend your titles and all that kind of stuff. The titles will always mean more. They mean more to me, they mean more than Mike Tyson, they mean more than anything. They’re the pinnacle of the sport, the heavyweight championship of the world. They’re the pinnacle of the sport.

“People are crazy to question why anyone would not have a desire to become heavyweight champion of the world,” said Joshua.

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