As we have reported, the Bronze Bomber has agreed a deal to fight Joshua on March 9th, 2024. Before that can happen, he must overcome Joseph Parker on December 23rd. The same goes for Joshua, who faces Otto Wallin on the same card. The narrative heading into the fight is that Wilder is the favorite. Despite not having fought in over a year since his knockout win over Robert Helenius, Wilder has not received the same level of criticism as AJ.
Joshua’s recent performances have come under scrutiny. Since losing Andy Ruiz Jr., Joshua has switched styles and trainers. The Brit has chosen to box behind his jab instead of being the combination puncher he once was. He has hired several trainers, showing a lack of direction with his fighting style.
Robert Garcia, Derrick James and Ben Davidson have all worked with him. His wins over Jermaine Franklin and Helenius were far from convincing despite stopping the latter. Joshua also spent some time in a dark room to shut himself off from boxing to gain a mental edge over his rivals. Wilder saw the fighter as showing signs of mental fragility.
“I’ve always thought Joshua was mentally weak, this has not just started. If you go back to my previous interviews and hear me talk about Joshua, I’ve always thought he had a very weak mentality…especially when it comes to fighting me. It’s no secret — I mean a lot of things have already come out with World Boxing News about why that fight didn’t happen, when he asked for $50M why that didn’t happen,” Wilder said
A loss to Wilder damages Joshua’s hopes of becoming a three-time world champion. This fight could well be a WBC title eliminator, putting the winner in a position to face Fury or Usyk. A loss for Joshua will raise questions over whether he should retire. Since Tyson Fury has distanced himself from the Joshua fight, the boxer would have no other big options.
Joshua On Fury
Joshua also directed criticism towards Fury’s performance against Francis Ngannou. The WBC heavyweight champion survived a scare to win via a split decision. Ngannou, who was making his boxing debut, silenced his doubters by troubling Fury. He dropped the WBC heavyweight champion in round three with a swift left hook.
Fury got up from the canvas but did not prevent Ngannou from pressing the action. Ngannou continued to come forward, taking shots in the process, to push the ‘Gypsy King’ back. After the fight, some in the boxing community felt Ngannou had been robbed of a win. Carl Frampton, Chris Eubank Jr., and Carl Froch gave Ngannou the win. Froch labelled the decision as corruption at the ‘highest level.’ Now Joshua has had his say on Fury’s performance.
“He just looked like a flat slob that just can’t fight. He says that bodybuilders can’t fight, but he got smacked up by one. I’ve always wanted to get in the ring with him. He does a lot of talking, calls me a bodybuilder and stuff, but I want to marvel at the African power – he’s a bodybuilder, steps in and smacks him up for me.
“I think Ngannou won. But the judges are there for a reason, they score it how they score it and they’re professionals at what they do and I’m just an observer. Fury won, but from a fan’s point of view, I think Ngannou won,” Joshua said