Barry McGuigan has weighed in on Anthony Joshua’s recent comments that money is his main motivation in the sport of boxing.
Joshua’s statement came at his recent press conference with American heavyweight, Jermaine Franklin – a fight seen as his comeback following two consecutive losses to Oleksandr Usyk.
The former champion answered ‘money’ to promoter Eddie Hearn when he asked what drove him. Much like anything ‘AJ’ does, it made the headlines.
Many praised him for his honesty and some fans feel that it’s the right attitude to adopt for this stage in his career after the pressure of unifying belts and creating a legacy ever since he turned pro.
McGuigan, however, told Seconds Out he was disappointed.
“That disappoints me really, because he surely has earned enough money, and he should be thinking about his legacy. You know, whatever motivates a fighter – it’s a very personal thing.”
The Hall of Fame fighter turned manager went on to say that Joshua’s route should be carefully planned to build up wins rather than financial gain.
“For me, I was surprised at that. It’s not altogether surprising when fighters say ‘I just want to make money, I want to put enough in the bank to do me until I’m an old man.’
That’s understandable. But if he wants to come back and win the titles, he’s got to pick the right opponents and just build himself up and give himself the best chance – and he has the ability to do it. He’s just got to get on with it.”
Joshua and Hearn have set out a three-fight plan for 2023. Should they be victorious over Franklin, a stadium fight with Dillian Whyte will be targeted for summer and a ‘big one’ to close out the year against Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder would be ideal.
There’s also a crossover bout with recently stripped MMA Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, which would perhaps be the biggest money spinner of the lot.