Former Super-Middleweight World Champion, Carl Froch, believes that the risks of boxing now outweigh the reward for Anthony Joshua.
‘The Cobra’ will go down as one of Britain’s best fighters, his world title glory matched by two grudge matches against George Groves that captured a size of audience that was, back then, rare in the sport.
He stands alongside Anthony Joshua as a fighter who brought huge events to boxing fans in the UK. Having said that, Joshua has reached a testing time in his fight career. With two losses to now-champion Oleksandr Usyk, as well as a devastating defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr New York, the heavyweight from Watford is facing his first real ‘comeback’ period. Many fans see a difference in ‘AJ’ – and Froch agrees.
The fighter-turned-pundit compares ‘AJ’s campaign in the sport to his own, admitting that at one stage he had a ‘taste for the celebrity lifestyle.’ Drawing on that famous Marvellous Marvin Hagler quote – it’s tough to get out of bed to do roadwork at 5am when you’ve been sleeping in silk pyjamas – Froch suggested to William Hill that Joshua may be struggling to find motivation in the dangerous sport.
“When you’ve made it, and you’re world champ, and you’re pretty much financially secure – you’re kind of thinking ‘I’m still a boxer.’ I think that’s Anthony Joshua’s problem now. And he got beat up by [Andy Ruiz Jr] so that’s mentally scarred him – he knows he can get hurt he knows he can get stopped. But also, he’s [got to be] worth 100 million, minimum. And when you’ve got what you want out of life and you’ve achieved, why are you going to go back in the ring and get your head punched in? Why would you?”
It’s a dangerous sport. It’s not football, it’s not a bad game [and] it’s five-nil. Or tennis, three sets to love. It’s stretcher, hospital, hopefully you’ll come round. That’s the real dark side of boxing. So you have to weigh up the risk versus the reward. What am I fighting for? Some more money that I don’t need and will never spend. What’s the risk? Well, I could die … I don’t want it to take a dark twist, by the way, but that’s the implications of a bad boxing match.”
It’s an interesting take from ‘The Cobra’, however one that Joshua and his team will disagree with. He has, after all, just fought one of the world’s best twice in a row – and his emotional reaction to defeat in the ring certainly didn’t paint the picture of a fighter who’s lost the will to do it.
Still, fans won’t really know until Joshua returns to the ring, which is expected in early 2023 against an old foe in Dillian Whyte.