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Anthony Joshua under more ‘pressure’ in next fight as past comment comes back to haunt him

 

Joshua returns on April 1
Anthony Joshua

Esteemed trainer Billy Nelson believes Anthony Joshua is under more pressure than ever coming into his upcoming clash with Jermaine Franklin. And Joshua’s comments made after Franklin’s last encounter Dillian Whyte won’t have helped matters.

Following Whyte’s razor-closer majority decision victory over Franklin in November, Joshua criticised his domestic rival for not stopping the American, thus piling on the pressure to complete the feat when he boxes Franklin on April 1.

In the first fight against Usyk he was very apprehensive, he was even more apprehensive in the second fight so there’s going to be elements of doubt there and concerns heading into the ring,” Nelson told iFL TV.

“And he’s put himself under a little bit of pressure as well because he did an interview after the Whyte and Franklin fight saying that Whyte should have knocked him out. So, if he can’t knock him out why shouldn’t others be able to knock Franklin out.

“Anthony Joshua can knock any man out on the planet, he’s very powerful but it’s about whether he can take it back now. That’s my concern.”

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Esteemed trainer Billy Nelson believes Anthony Joshua is under more pressure than ever coming into his upcoming clash with Jermaine Franklin. And Joshua’s comments made after Franklin’s last encounter Dillian Whyte won’t have helped matters.

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Following Whyte’s razor-closer majority decision victory over Franklin in November, Joshua criticised his domestic rival for not stopping the American, thus piling on the pressure to complete the feat when he boxes Franklin on April 1.

“In the first fight against Usyk he was very apprehensive, he was even more apprehensive in the second fight so there’s going to be elements of doubt there and concerns heading into the ring,” Nelson told iFL TV.

“And he’s put himself under a little bit of pressure as well because he did an interview after the Whyte and Franklin fight saying that Whyte should have knocked him out. So, if he can’t knock him out why shouldn’t others be able to knock Franklin out.

Joshua returns on April 1
Anthony Joshua returns on April 1 (Image: GETTY)

“Anthony Joshua can knock any man out on the planet, he’s very powerful but it’s about whether he can take it back now. That’s my concern.”

Nelson says he has seen a noticeable deterioration in Joshua’s performance since his 2017 heavyweight unification bout with Wladimir Klitschko. Joshua faced Klitschko at London’s Wembley Stadium for the IBF and WBA (super) titles, winning via eleventh-round stoppage in a hard-fought contest.

On that night, Joshua received plaudits from fans and media alike for his gutsy display, picking himself up off the canvas in round six before flooring the once-dominant heavyweight champion twice in the penultimate stanza en route to the referee waving it off.

But ever since his knockout loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 and the proceeding cagey rematch, many have criticised AJ for being too ‘hesitant’. However, Nelson believes this perceived career plateau came two years earlier.

“I don’t think we’ll see the best Anthony Joshua; I think we’ve seen the best Anthony Joshua,” he added. “He’s not sparkled since possibly the [Wladimir] Klitschko fight. I’m not knocking him in any way shape or form, you’ve asked me a question and I’ve answered.

“I think Dillian Whyte was shot a long time ago, Dillian Whyte will never beat Anthony Joshua. He was electric when he was beating these guys and beating Klitschko, but I think it’s plain to see that there’s a deterioration. I think that he’s plateaued and he’s on his way down now.”

 

 

 

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