Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury Can Wait A Little Bit Longer
UNIMPRESSIVE is the word that springs to mind when describing Anthony Joshua‘s 12-round unanimous decision win over American Jermaine Franklin last night at the sold-out O2.
Scores of 118-111 and 117-111 (x2) are reflective of a dominant performance against a fighter that the majority of fans had beating Dillian Whyte, but it’s safe to say that fans expected a little bit more from Joshua.
The move to Derrick James, the first time in seven years he was back at ‘the Lion’s den’ and his first non-title fight in almost eight years – the narrative was pushed that we would see an old AJ, one that was spiteful and aggressive, reminiscent of his demolition jobs of Dominic Breazeale and Eric Molina, but instead, we witnessed a hesitant fighter who struggled to commit to any attacks with real substance, a boxer that is a shell of the exciting superstar that bought the nation to a standstill every time he entered the squared circle.
The vast majority of fans believed this would be an inside-the-distance job for the former unified Heavyweight champion with some critics even indicating that the fight should’ve been over by the halfway point.
Twelve solid rounds in the bank for AJ, but at what cost? A fighter that had sold out five British stadiums and generated millions of PPV buys sold out an 18,000-capacity arena on the day before the fight and his bout with Franklin was on regular subscription rather than the PPV platform.
The stock of Anthony Joshua, a much talked about topic in recent months, was supposed to see a huge rise yesterday night back to where it was before consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk, but instead, it might’ve just gone down again.
The 33-year-old needs more fights with his new trainer, and more time to figure out his style and regain confidence. A fight with Tyson Fury next would almost be a ‘cashout’ for Joshua rather than a super fight that divides opinion.
AJ should look to get back in the ring two more times this year as was the original plan with a fight against Dillian Whyte now looking like the perfect match to bring out the aggressive version of Joshua. He is in desperate need of a highlight-reel win.