Carl Froch believes that former unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, took his eye off the ball and let commercial deals hinder his boxing career.
Joshua unified three of the four major titles in his 21st professional fight following a short amateur career that saw him win Olympic Gold.
After climbing the ranks and settling at the top, he suffered his first defeat at the fast hands of underdog, Andy Ruiz Jr. ‘AJ’ would win his belts back in an immediate rematch before going on to knock out Kubrat Pulev.
The fights that followed saw Oleksandr Usyk beat the Brit twice, taking his titles and keeping them, and leaving some fans – perhaps unfairly – questioning ‘AJ’s standing in the sport
Speaking to BonusCodeBets, Froch said he believes that Joshua hasn’t been fully dedicated to the sport amongst the fame, pressure, and sponsorships of his wildly successful career.
“Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been around the camps, but looking at his performance and listening to him beforehand – it must be hard, he’s made a lot of money, a lot of commercial pressures, a lot of sponsorship outside, he’s doing adverts for Under Armour, Lucozade, Beats, Hugo Boss . These blue chip companies are behind him and brings massive pressure.
I just think he took his eye off the ball, off the boxing game. He wasn’t fully dedicated to his sport. He’s got to get up and do the runs. Marvin Hagler said it’s hard to get out of bed when you’re wearing silk pyjamas.”
‘The Cobra’ then advised ‘AJ’ to forget his losses and reinstall the mindset that saw him get up from a knockdown to beat heavyweight great, Wladimir Klitschko, in 2017.
“If AJ can go back to that fighter who climbed off the canvas against Wladimir Klitschko and then sent him into orbit with that uppercut, if he can rediscover his finisher’s instinct, and go back to using his size and combinations, he can still be a threat to anyone at heavyweight.
If he can set his mind right and banish the ghosts of Ruiz and Usyk, he has a chance to get back to the top of the mountain – but it’s a big ask. He’s been a great ambassador for British boxing, only time will tell what he has left.”
The first step back for ‘AJ’ is a fight against American heavyweight, Jermaine Franklin, on April 1, in which fans will have a chance to see his link up with trainer, Derrick James, in action.