Even though he didn’t really mention any names, Anthony Joshua sure pointed at all boxing legends he admires who turned their backs on him. It all started happening when he lost his belts the first time against Andy Ruiz. Many of the big names in the sport who had access to a microphone started loosing their trust in Joshua.
Because at first, AJ did really seem like no other boxer could defeat him. But defeat is something every boxer eventually gets to experience and Anthony Joshua was hit with two straight losses against Oleksandr Usyk. From that moment forward, he started losing respect from many of his peers and legends inside the sport.
"When I lost the belts, I felt that the respect from the legends of boxing was disappearing with them."
"Now, I'm doing this for myself!" 🥊
Anthony Joshua isn't putting pressure on himself anymore to impress the world of boxing! 👀 pic.twitter.com/dseipnO2W6
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) March 22, 2023
Joshua gets candid about boxing legends
Speaking aon talkSport, Joshua said: “I love this industry, I respect boxing so much, because I do it, and I know what it takes. And it’s crazy to think that a lot of the legends that I admire and people that I look up to are doing podcasts now, and I can actually go online and hear what they have to say. I used to do a lot of it to try and get the respect and admiration from people that I admire, and you’re kind of chasing that.
“And when I lost the belts, I just felt that admiration and respect from the legends of the game had just disappeared with those belts. It was a hard pill to swallow, and now I’m just in a place where it’s like, ‘F*** everyone, I’m doing this s*** for myself. I ain’t going through that s*** anymore where I’m putting pressure on, ‘I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do that.’ Listen, if I just knuckle down and take one day at a time and take one round at a time, and I put my mind to it, what will be, will be.”
As he gets ready to fight Jermaine Franklin on April 1st, Joshua knows that a victory could very well place him within reach of another title defense. Ups and downs are common in the sport of boxing and he feels like he can continue at the highest level despite being 33 years of age. AJ is no youngster anymore but he is still amongst the Top 5 best Heavyweights in the world. Even a fight against Tyson Fury might still be in the cards but Joshua himself doesn’t lose any sleep over it.
"WE WOULD SIGN THAT FIGHT NOW, SUBJECT TO VICTORY AGAINST FRANKLIN"
😮 Could we see Fury vs Joshua if Fury vs Usyk falls through?
Eddie Hearn certainly believes so 👀
— IFL TV (@IFLTV) March 22, 2023