Anthony Joshua took considerable disrespect during the build-up to Tyson Fury beating old foe Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium.
The forgotten man of British boxing, who was once the darling of the London fans as he packed out the National Stadium, got reduced to an afterthought last week.
Promoter Frank Warren took the sport to new heights with 94,000 attending to secure a new British record. The Hall of Famer is regarded as the top UK organizer of events these days.
But before Fury and Whyte even traded blows, talk of AJ took a downturn in the media. This situation irked one of Joshua’s stablemates at Matchroom.
Gamal Yafai said: “The disrespect shown to Anthony Joshua is crazy. No sport quite like it,” when responding to a conversation on talkSPORT.
The disrespect shown to Anthony joshua. crazy. No sport quite like it ????????♂️ https://t.co/OxBHN4O2Ck
— Gamal Yafai (@Gamal_yafai) April 20, 2022
Simon Jordan, the former Crystal Palace Chairman and now talkSPORT presenter, said: “I don’t think Whyte can beat Fury, Usyk, or Anthony Joshua.”
Gareth A. Davies, his co-presenter on the show, responded: “Whyte can beat AJ right now. He will go on to be a champion.”
That’s where Gamal took offense to the conversation. The Birmingham man says there was a lack of respect for the two-time heavyweight champion.
Joshua is currently in early preparations for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist can shut many mouths if he can regain the belts for the third time.
He faces a formidable test in Usyk, who has already shown Joshua up once on his own soil. Joshua will have to re-evaluate his game plan, having elevated Angel Fernandez to the top of his coaching list.
Many see a more positive approach as needed for the second fight. The Watford man was far too cautious in giving up his titles last time out.
ANTHONY JOSHUA FOURTH-BEST
Joshua is still considered to be the fourth-best heavyweight on the planet. If he beats Usyk, it will open a considerable debate on whether Joshua can stand up to Fury as the pound for pounds number one.
Beating every man he ever faced, a la Lennox Lewis, and defeating Usyk would be a massive statement for Joshua. It would close a lot of that disrespect Yafai talks of away.
However, Joshua is a long way off that right now. He’s the underdog and hasn’t shown any indication that he would be able to turn the tables on Usyk.
His best hope is a knockout and to go for the jugular from the off. Usyk doesn’t have the physical capabilities to match his incredible skills.
The spotlight will soon turn back to Joshua as the build-up takes center stage and Fury makes way. And it will be interesting to see where the discussions will land when it’s Joshua, who is once again the name on the lips of the UK fans.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.
WBN Editor Phil has over ten years of boxing news experience. Furthermore, follow WBN us on Twitter @WorldBoxingNews.