Anthony Joshua is now comfortable losing a fight while rival Andy Ruiz Jr. ruined his career when taking him out at Madison Square Garden.
That’s the view of the outspoken former world champion and current ESPN analyst Timothy Bradley.
Following AJ’s convincing defeat to a much smaller man in Oleksandr Usyk, Bradley pointed to the fact the Briton hasn’t been the same since Ruiz stopped him in New York over two years ago.
Discussing the situation recently, Bradley didn’t hold anything back.
“It’s a different mentality. Joshua, his mentality is way different than Tyson Fury,” Bradley told FightHype.com. “Joshua’s okay. It just seems like he’s comfortable with losing a fight.
“He’s gracious and whatever you want to call it, but it’s too easy for me. It’s hard to train when you’ve got the whole world at your feet.
ANDY RUIZ JR
“It’s hard to train and stay focused and stay dedicated and have that hunger and desire. That’s because success weakens [the mind].
“I think in the Andy Ruiz Jr. fight, I think that ruined him. I think that ruined his confidence,” he added.
On why Joshua seems to struggle after being touted as this generation’s heavyweight legend by his promoter when signing as an Olympic gold medalist in 2013, Bradley stated bluntly: “I think he’s also scared to get hit. He’s gun shy, don’t wanna throw because he’s afraid of getting hit, so that’s why you didn’t see him throw.
“Usyk’s a small heavyweight, but he does have some snap on his shots, but he’s the bigger guy. He needs to act like he’s the bigger guy.
“It’s almost like he’s a big guy, but he has a small guy mentality. He needs to switch that around. I think the only way is he has to talk with himself.
“That’s the only way to fix that. He has to talk with himself and say, ‘hey, how do you want to be remembered?'”
Back in 2017, Joshua got hailed by Sky Sports and Eddie Hearn as the best on the planet despite a string of below-par opponents.
If you take away a win over Wladimir Klitschko, in which the Ukrainian almost stopped him, it’s hard to choose real standout victories over challengers in their prime.
Bradley believes Joshua has to find that “Eye of the Tiger” he showed to win that fight, again against an old campaigner, though.
“Where’s the guy that fought Klitschko? Where’s that guy? You bring that guy out. You beat a guy like Usyk.
“It seemed like he was starting to get the game plan, but then he just kinda ran out of juice. He was just like, okay, he just laid down like – ‘alright, well I’m okay with just losing.
“It’s fine. I’ve lost before. I got the rematch clause [with Usyk to come], the whole nine.'”
The consensus is Joshua must beat Usyk and then fight and defeat Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder to have any lasting legacy in the sport. The odds of that happening are not good.