Former Klitschko brothers’ manager and CEO of their company Klitschko Management Group, Bernd Boente, has aired his views on Anthony Joshua.
Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News after working the fight in Germany last weekend, Boente discussed the performance and controversy surrounding the Briton’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk vs Joshua 2
Joshua fought better than in his first meeting with Usyk in September 2021. However, Usyk still had an answer for everything Joshua threw, barring in the ninth round.
After dropping a highly contentious split decision, his third defeat in five bouts, Joshua proceeded to take over the post-fight interview.
That scenario came after the former Olympian threw Usyk’s belts out of the ring in an apparent tantrum.
Joshua has since been both hammered and backed in equal measure for his indefensible actions in robbing Usyk of the limelight he earned in the ring.
Boente, who came up against Joshua in 2017 at Wembley Stadium with Wladimir Klitschko, also believes the Londoner enhanced his tools for the right with new trainer Robert Garcia.
“I have worked both Usyk vs Joshua fights for DAZN Germany as a live commentator and expert,” Boente outlined to World Boxing News when offering his credentials for the opinion.
He added: “I felt AJ had definitely improved from the first fight against Usyk. His defense was better. He threw more right hands, which is important against a southpaw.
“Joshua worked more to the body. But a good and steady jab was again missing, the most important weapon for the taller man to control a fight.”
Discussing those eye-watering scenes in Saudi Arabia, as Joshua suffered a meltdown minutes after the result, Boente stated: “I know Anthony personally. I find him to be a great personality and a fair sportsman.
“His strange speech after the fight was still under the influence of adrenaline and utter disappointment.
“He regretted his emotional breakdown soon afterward, and I think we all shouldn’t hang the topic too high.”
After striking up a friendship with Wladimir Klitschko when they fought tooth and nail five years ago, Boente is sure Joshua can call on the Ukrainian if he ever needs help.
“Wladimir and Anthony are friends. I’m sure Wladimir would always stand by with advice,” pointed out Boente.
“Let’s also not forget that working with a new coach takes time to reap the rewards.
“Wladimir and Manny Steward started in 2004 with a defeat against Brewster. It took a few fights before the cooperation was really successful.
“Wladimir never again lost a fight with Manny in his corner.”
Joshua won’t be able to stay out of the public eye for long to recuperate. Promoter Eddie Hearn wants his man back in the ring as early as December, fighting four more times over the next sixteen months.
A blueprint Hearn has offered before that has never transpired. The Matchroom boss announced a world tour a few years back, stating AJ would be fighting in many countries worldwide.
It didn’t happen and is why many believe Joshua’s next fight could take place away from the UK.
For now, Joshua has to work on improving further as a clash with Zhang Zhilei in China and rematches with Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker remain possibilities for recovery Pay Per Views in the coming year.