Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s admission he’s only motivated by money hasn’t gone down well in the boxing world.
AJ is promoting his next fight, a return to non Pay Per View against the unheralded American Jermaine Franklin.
Ahead of Joshua’s April 1st clash at The O2 Arena in London, the Briton stated his ambitions have dropped since suffering back-to-back losses against Oleksandr Usyk.
“You know I love to fight. I like to make money. Money, money, money. Straight up,” answered Joshua when asked what drives him to compete again.
“This is a prizefighting sport. I’ve been broke, and my family’s been broke,” he added.
Anthony Joshua admits money motivation
Franklin’s handler Dmitriy Salita blasted Joshua for his honesty.
“That is not a good “main” motivator when you get in that ring,” said Salita. “It’s one of the motivators when you are poor and trying to make it.
“But it should not be THE motivator, especially when you tasted the golden pot,” he added.
Losing his world titles and not being able to hang with Usyk, Tyson Fury, or Deontay Wilder at the top of the tree would undoubtedly have something to do with Joshua’s mindset.
He’s dropped to at least fifth or sixth in the significant heavyweight rankings. AJ is behind Fury, Usyk, Wilder, Joe Joyce, and former foe Andy Ruiz Jr. in the pecking order.
A win over Franklin won’t change that. However, Joshua has to look good, or his career will be over before the final part can begin.
Under pressure to live up to a five-year deal with DAZN, of which the Franklin event is the first of many, Joshua usually can’t handle that kind of constraint.
Being the big favorite always works in his favor, though. That fact alone could push Joshua to an early knockout if his headspace is correct.
Lack of ability
These days, it’s more about how Anthony Joshua feels mentally than anything else. But with a lack of ability highlighted by World Boxing News since his career began, the weight on his shoulders has always been immense.
Anyone would buckle under that stress at some point, as Joshua was lauded as the next Muhammad Ali when he turned professional.
Following the 2012 Olympics, in which he lost the final but was gifted a decision, Joshua has been a superstar in the UK. Eventually, that facade will catch up on you, which it did in 2019 on his US debut in New York.
Joshua couldn’t handle the occasion and was soundly knocked out by Ruiz. Returning to his comfort zone in the rematch, and with Ruiz only training for a couple of weeks after partying for months, AJ quickly took back his belts.
But it was the Usyk defeats that put his career into perspective. Despite a size advantage over Usyk, the masterful Ukrainian exposed a lack of skills as Joshua had no answer for the better fundamentals.
It’s a credit to himself that he’s even gotten this far. But with the titles out of reach for the considerable future, Joshua faces a sad ending to a once-promising career.
If money is his only motivation, then it will not conclude well.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of experienced boxing writer Phil Jay. Twitter @PhilJWBN. Follow WBN: Facebook, Insta, Twitter.