Anthony Joshua’s new lease on life spells danger for the heavyweight division

| December 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

As far as learning curves go, 2019 will do down in Anthony Joshua’s life as the most career-changing that he has ever had. From the depths of despair after a shock loss to Andy Ruiz Jr, to redemption in the desert after being written off by every boxing chair expert in the world. It’s been a long 12 months that has brought out the best and the worst for the man born in Watford – but let’s go back to the start and begin with that fateful night at Madison Square Garden. 

Fighting a man that was at odds of 30/1, Joshua took off from Heathrow in the knowledge that he would beat up Andy Ruiz Jr and treat New York as a bit of a holiday. How could he lose? This was the man-mountain Anthony Joshua who had beaten the great Wladimir Klitschko and knocked out the dangerous Russian Alexander Povetkin.

It all got off to the right start as well, as far as Joshua was concerned, when he knocked Ruiz down to the canvas in the third round. That seemed to spark the Mexican-American into life. It was all one-way traffic after that, as the 30-year-old beat Joshua good and proper. The referee had seen enough by the sixth, and waved Ruiz away with Joshua getting pounded in the corner.

The world stood still during that minute as Ruiz jumped around the ring in what seemed like slow motion. David had indeed floored Goliath and, in doing so, the gates opened with the hounds let loose on Joshua; his career (according to the media) was over.

It wasn’t just the media, as Joshua’s fellow pros also piled in and declared to the world that Joshua had been found out. It would have been a dark few moments for AJ following that fight, but his team rallied around him with his promoter, Eddie Hearn, refusing to let his cash cow go into the night without a fight.

Roll on six months later and the rematch was on, with the two heavyweights going toe-to-toe in the dunes. This was it for Joshua – any lapses in concentration and his career would effectively be over. Well, there wasn’t to be any as the Englishman put on his professional gloves and outboxed his opponent to take the unanimous victory on points after 12 rounds

AJ had bounced back and gave the boxing and sporting world, in general, a lesson in writing people off too soon.

These days Joshua is a changed man, and it’s clear to see how much character was cultivated during those dark times. A telling example is the fact that AJ now wants to spar with Tyson Fury to learn from the man. The reason being is that Joshua thinks Fury will beat Deontay Wilder in a rematch – and he’s not wrong there, with the latest boxing odds pricing the Gypsy King as the favourite.  

But Joshua goes on to say that he wants to learn from Fury and improve his own boxing. Very seldom do you hear such humility from a professional boxer, and that spells danger for the rest of the division.

Anthony Joshua has immeasurably learned and grown as a man thanks to the most disappointing night of his life, and his attitude now suggests that he is psychologically ahead of his opponents too. Dangerous times for those looking to dethrone AJ.

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Category: Local News and Sport

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