Written By Bakari Simpson: In a recent interview with BBC.com, IBF and WBA Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua (20-0, 20 KO’s) displayed alarmingly thin professional skin. The focus of the brief conversation was how AJ felt about a recent press conference that WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KO’s) held. During the presser, Parker made it clear that he, and his team, believed that Joshua had a weak chin. To substantiate this claim, they revealed that they had footage of Joshua being dropped numerous times as both an amateur and a professional.
The most troubling thing about Joshua’s disillusionment is the fact that Team Parker did not say anything that was not pure fact.
Apparently, in his mind, AJ believes that all boxers should deal with one another on the highest levels of civility. It makes one wonder when Anthony seriously began watching boxing. Has he never heard of Ricardo Mayorga, James Toney or the baby eating Mike Tyson?! Hell, has AJ bothered to pay attention to contemporary fighters like Gervonta Davis, Floyd Mayweather or even Deontay Wilder?! Wilder was JUST talking about wanting to ‘body’, aka kill, an opponent in the ring. Yet, Joshua is taken aback when Team Parker mentions the actual history of his shaky chin?
For Joshua, professional fighters should handle themselves as athletes do mainly in non-contact sports.
“Formula 1, golf, tennis, football, rugby, very, very classy people, you know what I mean? Respectable amongst their peers, then we’ve got people like Joseph Parker holding a press conference talking about everything he thinks I am, trying to mislead the public opinion on everything I’ve created from the ground up. So what’s he trying to do, he wants to be the big bully? You know what I mean, he wants to try to demonize everything I’ve done, I think it’s not nice.” -Anthony Joshua
These comparisons make little to no practical sense whatsoever. In golf and tennis the announcers whisper, why in the world would boxers behave anything like golfers?! However, the zaniness does not end with his thoughts on conduct. Apparently, AJ is also surprised that other belt carrying champions want impressive financial compensation for fighting.
“This is the first time in my career where the talk has been about money. That’s what’s holding it up. With Klitschko it wasn’t about the money, it was about getting the fight together for the belts. With Parker it’s a different story, and Wilder. No disrespect for them, they have their reasons, but I feel like the fans are not getting what they want. It would have been great to have it penciled in now but it will happen in the future once they come to their senses.” -Anthony Joshua
It is funny that Anthony mentioned the Klitschko bout as an example of “how it is done.” Wlad was at the end of his career, made the money he was going to make in the sport and was the A-side. With these things being the case, Wlad more than likely got everything he wanted without much resistance. So why would that have been difficult to make? Furthermore, why does AJ have a hard time understanding that other boxers, especially champions, want substantial compensation? At the end of the day, these men are risking their lives to compete. Paying them well would seem to be a part of the deal.
The troublesome interview came at a time when it already seems like Team Joshua wants nothing to do with Wilder. After hearing this piece, it now appears that AJ is nowhere near signing a fight that the fans want to see. Hopefully, this is not the case, but the forecast on AJ’s next bout does not seem all that bright or exciting.
It’s a sad day in boxing when a heavyweight champion doesn’t understand why another champion desires ample financial compensation. It is an even sadder day when the heavyweight champ is whining over being ‘bullied’ because another champion wants to fight and is not talking ‘nice.’ Geez…
Only time will tell what happens next, stay tuned!
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