Anthony Joshua vs. The World

By Paul Magno on September 23, 2018
Anthony Joshua vs. The World
He has the pull and the push to fight anywhere he damn well chooses. (Heczar Designs)

What if it was suggested that Anthony Joshua was not so much the champion of the world as the champion of a fairly small island?

Imagine the rabid, angry comments left under this article if it was suggested that Anthony Joshua was not so much the champion of the world as the champion of a fairly small island.

What? How could someone say such a thing? “AJ” is recognized as world champ by three of the four major sanctioning bodies. His body of work includes decisive wins within the distance against legitimate world stage fighters like Wladimir Klitschko and now Alexander Povetkin.

True, Joshua is just fine staying in the UK, self-isolated on his home turf and confident that the world will have to come to HIM. But stardom has its privileges and even if one would care to debate the depth of his pro résumé, the reality is that he has the pull and the push to fight anywhere he damn well chooses.

Hold your angry comments. This article is certainly not suggesting that Joshua is some sort of island champ because he prefers to keep things close to home. “AJ” is the real deal world champ.

But…

There WILL be some who suggest that a fighter brought up with star treatment and given his first crack at a world title before he had actually become a fully developed world class fighter is just asking for cynicism by staying at home…forever.

More and more, boxing is a sport with two distinct faces. There’s the business side and the competitive side.

Competitively, it would be good to see Joshua tested in a place where everything wasn’t built around keeping him alive and thriving. So much has been stacked in Joshua’s favor since even before his pro debut that it would help his legacy if he was forced to show the moxie of an underdog or, at least, a fighter NOT with everything stacked in his favor.

From a business perspective, though, Joshua has every right to call all the shots and stage his fights anywhere he likes. With the ability to fill soccer stadiums and generate crazy pay-per-view buys at home, Joshua brings tons of cash to the table and, therefore, gets to reap all the benefits that come with being the A-side of every matchup.

But it WOULD be nice to see business and sport get neatly tied in one—and Anthony Joshua would be the perfect person to do this.

There’s plenty of personal pride and nationalism involved in the 3-belt champ insisting that all challengers come to him, but an Anthony Joshua World Tour would be immense. Leaving home would not only add depth and credibility to his reign, but it would also work to beef up the business side of things—creating a bigger worldwide market for himself and making consistent nine-figure paydays a reality.

Taking on WBC champ Deontay Wilder in the United States could open the door to the US market (provided Wilder gets by Tyson Fury this December 1). It would be a bit of a gamble on Team Joshua’s part and it would mean the loss of a big UK payday for the unification bout, but the payoff could be tremendous as the American market, when it bleeds over into the mainstream, can realistically deliver Floyd Mayweather-type money.

But if Joshua is fine with the money he’s getting now and happy to demonstrate to the world that he’s the bossman by insisting all comers come to him, that’s his prerogative. Let him wave the Union Jack and rally his people into a frenzy. The world will just have to go at things old school style by trying to take away his belts and star privilege directly via combat.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Loksman 03:31pm, 09/26/2018

    Just bring the fight anywhere for them, its not where but who wins.

  2. snowflake 07:12am, 09/25/2018

    Joshua has no intention of fighting Wilder next or ever. Endless excuses and the Brit fans lap it up. That story is old and written. More fun to speculate on which excuses Joshua and Hearn will employ to avoid Usyk when he moves up.

  3. Pootie Tang 06:22am, 09/25/2018

    AkT… Feel free to criticize America, that is why we have a First Amendment here. I am American born and raised,  and there is A LOT that I would criticize America for, and the “American press” is definitely one of the things that I would criticize. Take advantage of the 1st Amendment while it lasts, the powers that be are slowly taking away our most precious right. Btw, I think Mr. Magno has said he lives in Mexico.

  4. Pootie Tang 06:16am, 09/25/2018

    @Pete The Sneak… Great headline indeed.

  5. Pete The Sneak 04:11am, 09/25/2018

    @Pootie Tang…The George Foreman title win against Joe Frazier in Jamaica produced (IMHO) one of the best NY Daily News sports headlines ever. it read; ” Hey, the Foreman don’t allow No Smokin on the Job!”...Good stuff. Peace.

  6. AkT 02:05am, 09/25/2018

    Just before a war kicks off here, let me be clear..

    I’m referring generally to the American press’ take on the whole AJ/ Wilder fiasco.

  7. AkT 02:00am, 09/25/2018

    Paul Magno, I can see the criticisms have been getting to you. Your brash take on AJ has softened and even changed quite a bit. Too much backlash from AJ fans perhaps?

    Indulge me for a moment…

    When Tyson was champion, how many times did he come to the UK to fight? I’ll wait.

    When Evander Holyfield was champ..? And Larry Holmes? And George Foreman…?

    You see the thing with you Americans is this.. You genuinely think the world revolves around you. Guess what - it doesn’t!

    When you’re able to write a more objective, balanced article that isn’t biased to the point of reeking of this false sense of entitlement, then maybe I’d look at another one of your articles.

    Peace.

  8. Pootie Tang 10:38am, 09/24/2018

    Just remembered that all of Big George’s title fights in his first career were away from America, even his title win against Joe Frazier. Joe “King” Roman in Japan, Norton in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Rumble In The Jungle with Ali in Zaire. Big George probably would have been a real globetrotter had he held on the title for a little longer. Oh well, Buenos Noches, Senor.

  9. Lucas McCain 09:45am, 09/24/2018

    A young Cassius Clay got a title fight way too early—if Henry Cooper could drop him and Doug Jones could rock him, what would Sonny Liston do?  Plus he had a couple of “massaged” victories over those two, the ripped glove and the hairline decision.  How far did he get?

  10. Pootie Tang 07:58am, 09/24/2018

    How long has the guy been the champion? And how many title defenses has he had? Damn, give the guy a couple of homers before you get all critical. It would be very disrespectful to the English fans for Joshua to not place a priority on defending his crown in front of the nation where he calls home. No different than a Terence Crawford defending his title in his hometown of Omaha ( not exactly a boxing hotbed ) or back in the day, a Marvin Johnson defending his title in Indianapolis. Most of the guy’s defenses should be in front of his home crowd. I would say especially because he “earned” the title but alas the title was STOLEN from Tyson Fury.

  11. Pootie Tang 07:36am, 09/24/2018

    When American fighters had a stranglehold on the former “biggest title in the world,” with the exception of Ali, they seldom ventured outside of America. Sure, every now and then, someone like Foreman or Tyson would fight in Japan ( they were fighting other American fighters), but for the most part, all world title fights were held in America. Larry Holmes never defended his title in another country. Dempsey, Louis, Marciano, Patterson, Liston, etc., the list goes on. Jack Johnson left the country out of necessity.

  12. Besty 02:05am, 09/24/2018

    Which other country has Wilder fought?  Exactly my point.  Double standard.

  13. Kid Blast 07:08pm, 09/23/2018

    As long as he can draw the massive crowds and provide for PPV revenue, why should he fight elsewhere?  He is an “event fighter” and his fights are UK events. He is in the enviable position (Like Mayweather) of making people very wealthy by fighting him. Period ker plunk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Leave a comment