Anthony Joshua is joining fans in using his fight with Dillian Whyte as a measuring stick to see where his future in the sport lies.
Following two losses to Oleksandr Usyk, ‘AJ’ switched trainers and bounced back with a decision win over Jermaine Franklin.
The comeback bout didn’t convince pundits that his finishing instinct from back in the day was intact, but many feel that the Whyte fight is the one to really show it.
When they first fought as professionals in 2015, it was thrilling from the off and culminated in a highlight reel knockout for Joshua. Should he manage to do the same again, he’ll move ahead with confidence.
The goal is to become a three-time world champion – but Joshua is ready to reevaluate that after the fight on August 12.
He told Betfred’s Lightweight Boxing Show that the rematch with his old rival would show how much he had left – something he himself isn’t sure of right now.
“It’s not easy you know. I think it looks quite easy from the outside. Winning it back is gonna take a lot, and it’s just gonna be interesting to see how much I’ve got left. August 12th is the test. You know what I mean? Every fight is leading towards something, and that’s why it’s so interesting for me now.
What do I have left? What desire do I have? Because amongst the skill and experience I’ve gathered, sometimes what we said back then, two thugs in the ring, that can also take you far – when you have that fire … But because of the history of fighting and boxing, fighters only have so much steel in them before it gets knocked out of them.
There’s only so many tough fights, so it’ll be interesting to see how much steel I got left.”
It’s well-known that ‘AJ’s team has been negotiating a fight with Deontay Wilder for later in the year should their man win – another fight he’ll need to dig deep for.
First up, he faces Whyte next month at a sold-out O2 Arena in London. Fans can tune in via DAZN PPV.