Anthony Joshua: A Rock and a Hard Place

Anthony Joshua: A Rock and a Hard Place 

By Leemo Smith 

Anthony Joshua is one of the biggest names in world boxing, attracting fans from all walks of life, from the casual’s to the hard-core. But are the fans starting to turn on the media friendly heavyweight?

There has been a back lash from the fans of late, and it seems to be getting to champ. At the end of the Whyte Chisora 2 fight, Joshua climbed the edge of the ring and asked the fans if they’d be happy with a Whyte rematch. His response was a muted cheer from the few fans who stuck around after the knock out. AJ proceeded to claim he doesn’t want to hear the boos when the fight gets made, but this is far removed from a poll on his own Twitter asking who we’d like to see him fight next, where Fury and Wilder were clear victors.

Despite repetitive promises from Hearn, AJ is still yet to have an opponent announced for his Wembley fight on the 13th April. However, Joshua is in a lose lose situation with this fight, as it seems the fans will only be happy with one of two choices, both of whom are tied up in their own rematch. This doesn’t leave many options, in an already weak division.

The only real alternatives for AJ at the moment are the Dillian Whyte rematch, or going to NYC to fight Jarrel Miller. As discussed above, there is a low-interest in Whyte for the rematch, but do many Joshua fans even know who Miller is?

For the hard-core fans, Big Baby has been around for a while, but AJ has attracted fans who wouldn’t normally follow boxing, making Miller a relatively unknown opponent. On top of this what has Miller really done to deserve a shot at the world title? His last four opponents have a combined age of 150 years, he’s got some good names on his record but these are all names who are long past their best. His best win to date is an 8th round stoppage of Gerald Washington, a man who just got stopped in 2 rounds last weekend by the Polish prodigy Kownacki.

It would be good exposure for Joshua, fighting in the USA, and Millers ‘mouth’ would help bring in the punters, but it wouldn’t satisfy the British fans, after all the stories we’ve been fed by the promoters. Going to America has the potential of damaging his reputation further however, after telling fans the Wilder fight had to be in the UK to reward us for our loyalty. If he’s willing to go there for Miller why wouldn’t he do it for Wilder.

Hopefully an opponent will be named within the coming days, but it’s unlikely to make the fans happy. The hardcores may be happy the current saga is over, but we know it’ll start again in the Summer for his next fight. As far as AJ is concerned, he better get comfortable between a rock and a hard place, as he’s going to be living there for the foreseeable future.

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