Opinion: ‘Can’t win’ – Anthony Joshua rematch clause obsession backfires

Anthony Joshua Eddie Hearn

Mark Robinson

The Anthony Joshua obsession with insisting on a rematch clause in all his contracts for world heavyweight title fights has backfired in the end.

Joshua has made sure he gets a second bite of the cherry when defending his world championships, just in case the worst happens like it did when losing to Andy Ruiz Jr.

Questions long get thrown into the mix as to why AJ would need such a stipulation when promoter Eddie Hearn props up his leading man so highly. Those doubts now seem to have manifested into something else during the current Oleksandr Usyk drama.

Whether Joshua is reacting to a mass of boxing personnel telling him, ‘he simply can’t win against Usyk’ or if he doesn’t believe in himself enough to take the fight is the big point raised at the moment.

One thing is for sure, the days of having a rematch clause in every single situation may have finally gone.

If you lose to the better man, you lose. You then regroup, and you earn another shot the right way.

However, the consensus in the sport is that Joshua doesn’t have the tools to beat Usyk – and he never will possess them.

Therefore, aiming for a massive United States clash with Deontay Wilder would be worth looking at for the Joshua camp moving forward.

Step aside, take the money without earning it and then allow the fight all British fans more than any other – Tyson Fury vs. Usyk.

Without ruling out the possibility, Hearn spoke to The DAZN Boxing Show to outline where they currently stand on passing up the return.

‘There has been an offer. There have been several discussions with myself,’ Hearn admitted to DAZN.

“I can’t rule it out. It’s not my job. AJ’s the boss. He will rule it out or not rule it out. He’s very smart about the plan. He won’t want to do it.”

The Matchroom boss continued: “With Anthony, it’s never been a case of, ‘Here’s some money, does it tempt you?’

“Because he’s not about that. He’s a throwback fighter. He’s about legacy. All he’s thinking about at the moment is beating Oleksandr Usyk.

“All he wants to do is win the world heavyweight title back. Right now, he has a cast-iron opportunity to do that in a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

“So any step-aside, any other plan has to be solid.”

Deontay Wilder Anthony Joshua

ANTHONY JOSHUA OPTION

Should Wilder come forward with an offer for Joshua now, the timing could be perfect. The American could set up a big-punching fight six years in the making.

In 2018, the pair went back and forth many times in detailed negotiations. That’s until Anthony Joshua ultimately walked away to follow a WBA order to face Alexander Povetkin.

Since then, it’s all been about Fury for Wilder as they engaged in a trilogy saga.

But as things stand, there couldn’t be a better scenario for both to meet for an eventual shot at the winner of Fury vs. Usyk.

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay – Editor of World Boxing News since 2010 with over one billion views. Follow WBN on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.