Former featherweight world champion, Barry McGuigan, has given his verdict on Anthony Joshua’s chances of ever regaining his heavyweight belts.
Joshua returned to the ring on Saturday against Jermaine Franklin for the first time since his back to back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk. Although Joshua came away with the victory, it wasn’t the statement performance he had hoped for, admitting post fight that he wanted the knockout.
Some pundits and fans feel AJ has become gun shy ever since his shock defeat to Any Ruiz Jr back in 2019, with Carl Froch claiming the Mexican-American took a piece of Joshua’s soul that night. Joshua’s performance against Franklin won’t have done much to silence those critics, and although he was never in any danger of losing, the stoppage also never seemed on the horizon.
McGuigan believes the former heavyweight champion is ‘no longer capable’ of making his way back to the top of the division.
“Yes I watched AJ and I’m sorry to say, “in my opinion” he is no longer capable of winning the world title. He still looks physically imposing but he’s got zero trust in his punch resistance and he’s not going to beat any of the top fighters I’m afraid.”
Yes I watched AJ and I’m sorry to say, “in my opinion” he is no longer capable of winning the W.Title. He still looks physically imposing but he’s got zero trust in his punch resistance and he’s not going to beat any of the top fighters I’m afraid. https://t.co/R9L8suZwuS
— Barry McGuigan (@ClonesCyclone) April 2, 2023
All the pre-fight talk was about a potential summer blockbuster against Tyson Fury, but after a somewhat lacklustre showing, that now doesn’t seem as realistic. A rematch against old foe Dillian Whyte now appears to be the favourite.
Whyte, who previously beat Franklin in November, was in attendance at the O2 and was far from impressed with Joshua’s performance, telling media outlets that the 33 year-old has lost all his aggression and killer instinct.