By: Hans Themistode
No matter how intimidating Anthony Joshua seemed on the outside, it didn’t take much to get under his skin. The surly knockout artist from Britain always found himself the topic of conversation, and more times than not, what was said about him wasn’t very flattering.
For the most part, Joshua has faced just about everyone at the top of the heavyweight division. Yet, it didn’t matter if he cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Joseph Parker or whether he nearly decapitated Dillian Whyte, the naysayers were always present.
By and large, Joshua managed to let the disparaging words roll off his broad back. But there were plenty of times where he engaged in the back and forth rhetoric. Now though, the current unified heavyweight titlist could care less what his peers have to say about him.
“None of these guys live in my head anymore,” said Joshua during an interview with Chris Mannix. “With all of that stuff Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder last year, it was like they both came together to say I’m the weak link in the division. Back then I was always trying to back myself but now it doesn’t matter.”
Talks of facing either Wilder or Fury still engulfs many of his conversations but at the moment, Joshua is just a few hours away from taking on IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. Although Pulev isn’t considered much of a threat to truncate the British native’s reign, considering Joshua’s last opponent who was thought of in the same vein, he isn’t taking his man lightly.
In June of 2019, Joshua would walk into his contest against heavy underdog Andy Ruiz Jr. as a 25-1 favorite. Unless you are completely oblivious to the sport of boxing, the outcome of their contest was well-chronicled as Joshua was dropped four times and later stopped in the seventh.
Since then, the 31-year-old managed to win back his titles six months later in Saudi Arabia with a one-sided victory over Ruiz Jr. Thoughts of overlooking Pulev, who is on an eight-fight win streak himself, just isn’t on the mind of Joshua. So while Pulev has his undivided attention, Joshua is well aware that his immediate future will involve a showdown with either Fury or Wilder.
Coming to terms with either man has proven to be more difficult than he originally thought. With that being said, he won’t chase them. When the dust settles on his showdown with Pulev, Joshua has offered both Fury and Wilder to reach out to him, something he believes is easy to do.
“When Fury is ready he knows where to find me. When Wilder is ready he knows where to find me. They all know where to find me.”