By: Hans Themistode
He’s done. It’s over. He’ll never be the same.
Words that have been spewed in the direction of Anthony Joshua over and over again.
Since Joshua lost his titles at the hands of Andy Ruiz on June 1st, at Madison Square Garden, it’s all Joshua has heard. Just prior to his contest against Ruiz, it was the total opposite. The Heavyweight division has great fighters such as WBC champion Deontay Wilder and Lineal champ Tyson Fury to name a few, but none of those fighters were held with higher regard.
Joshua had it all. Big wins over Dillian Whyte, Carlos Takam, Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin. He also has the pedigree in winning an olympic gold medal in the 2012 olympics. An endorsement deal by Under Armor also allowed Joshua to become a household name around the world.
His June 1st matchup against Ruiz was nothing more than a formality, a layup, just another win in the column. Instead, it turned into the worse night of his career. Joshua wasn’t just beaten, he was beatdown. All who were praising him are now against him. The December 7th, rematch which is slated to take place in Saudi Arabia, is his chance for redemption, but many aren’t believing in his chances.
Hanging up the gloves has been advised for Joshua. In other words, Joshua should quit.
There’s only one problem with that sentiment. It’s not in his DNA.
“I faced defeat in my third fight as an amateur. Imagine if I stopped then, there would be no now,” said Joshua. “I lost in the European quarterfinals, imagine if I stopped then, there would be no now. I lost in the world championship finals, imagined if I stopped then, there would be no now. Stopping isn’t in my DNA.
The thought of losing his titles doesn’t sit well with Joshua. Not because he can’t accept his defeat. It’s more so because of what the word “lost” implies.
“To lose something means you will not get it back. I believe I will get my titles back on December 7th.”
The belief that Joshua is done should be shelved. At just 29 years of age he should be entering the prime of his career. As unfair as it may seem, the result of this contest will dictate how the rest of Joshua’s career is viewed. Make no mistake about it, he is facing an enormous amount of pressure. Throughout his career he’s been able to deal with the high expectations placed upon him, but this will be like nothing he has ever dealt with.
Even with the the plethora of great names that are plastered across his resume, Joshua’s career is riding on his December 7th, contest against Ruiz. How this contest will play out is anyones guess but for those who believe Joshua will simply crumble and quit underneath the pressure will be mistaken.