Has Anthony Joshua Been Left Behind?
(Photo Courtesy of Top Class Boxing)
It is fair to say that heavyweight boxing is going through a purple patch right now, after years of playing second fiddle to lighter weight classes, and also to the grappling circus otherwise known as UFC, it is now back in the spotlight once more.
That’s because we have some truly world class fighters looking to rule the roost and eventually become the undisputed Heavyweight champion, something that only comes about when a fighter is in possession of all four major title belts.
As things stand, Anthony Joshua has three that he can call his own (IBF, WBA, WBO), while the one that is still out of his reach is the illustrious WBC crown, something which has been firmly wrapped around the waist of American Deontay Wilder since 2015.
Although one must not forget that it was seconds away from transferring ownership at the tail end of last year, as Tyson Fury came within inches of removing the vice-like grip that Wilder has had on WBC Heavyweight belt over the past few years.
Were it not for a 12th Round knockdown, then it would have been the British warrior who would have once again ascended to Boxing’s summit. Unfortunately, because of the same knockdown, it meant the fight ended in an agonising draw.
And it’s arguably a result that was more agonising for Anthony Joshua to take. Not only does this now mean that a keenly anticipated rematch between Wilder and Fury is a mere formality, but it also means that the 29-year-old has been locked out of the WBC picture.
With a paucity of contenders willing to go up against him, Joshua has been left to deal with the relative scraps that are on the table. Of course, that is no disrespect intended to Jarrell Miller, but at the same time, Joshua will be the heavy favourite to win their fight on June 2nd.
A feeling that is reinforced when looking at the latest Boxing odds for their meeting later in the year. Joshua is priced as little as 1/8 with bet365 to continue his undefeated streak, while a win for opponent Miller can be found at 5/1.
This should be nothing more than an additional stepping stone for the 2012 Olympic Gold medallist to deal with in his pursuit to be the undisputed king of the division. However, it does also ask what would be next for the man who has a current 22-0 record.
Trying to pin down a winner takes all fight with Wilder has been impossible up until now and should he go on to beat Fury, then there is little to suggest that there will be a change of heart from ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in terms of sitting down and doing business.
At the same time though, a Fury win will not help his fellow Brit all that much either. That’s because although a ‘Battle of Britain’ would seem a more likely prospect, the 30-year-old would present a much tougher challenge in the ring.
Negotiation in boxing can be a tortuous process, one that is arguably tougher than being in the ring itself, and if Eddie Hearn cannot land a knockout boardroom blow soon, then his prized fighter will be in serious danger of being left behind in the quest to be undisputed.
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