Anthony Joshua to Retire if Defeated in August?
Thirty-two year old Anthony Joshua is one of the most popular, successful faces in heavy-weight boxing history.
He’s only lost twice in his career.
He’s on the brink of becoming a three-time heavy-weight champion of the world.
And yet, there’s every chance he’ll be retired within six weeks.
David Hayes Declares Anthony Joshua May Retire
Speaking to the Sun, former heavy-weight world champion David Hayes claimed that if Joshua doesn’t win on 20 August against Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk, he may not continue.
“If he doesn’t win, I am not sure he wants to be in a sport where he knows he is not the best.”
Carrying on to reference Joshua’s previous defeat to Usyk last September, Hayes asserted, “He got out-hustled by someone he knows he can beat and if – he does everything right and Usyk still beats him – I don’t know if there is anything else for him to do in the sport.”
“He is such a winner that I don’t know what he does next, if he loses again.”
Whether or not this reflects Joshua’s mentality, or simply Hayes’ speculation, remains to be seen.
A Rematch Worth Watching
The reality is, Joshua was out-thought and out-boxed by a boxer physically inferior to him last year.
The former undisputed cruiser-weight champion came out swinging from the first bell, taking the fight to Joshua and proving that his step up to the heavy-weight division was more than justified.
Joshua’s game plan was poor, attempting to pick off points and believing that he was ahead on the scorecards. Despite having a clear physical advantage over Usyk, instead Joshua refused to get in close and leverage this, rather choosing to stick to his typical style, electing to stay on the outside and box for points.
Ultimately, the judges did not reward the Brit’s approach, awarding a unanimous decision towards the Ukrainian, 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113.
Thankfully for boxing fans, Joshua entered the ring with a rematch clause written into the contract. This has been triggered, and the two are set to do it all over again on 20 August 2022.
Usyk Odds-On Favorite to Defend Title
Having now unified the world’s heavy-weight titles, Oleksandr Usyk is the odds-on favorite to defend his titles and remain the undisputed heavy-weight champion of the world on 20 August.
Usyk is an impressive -200 to claim victory over Anthony Joshua in the pair’s rematch, while Joshua is paying +175, and a draw is coming in at +1600.
For a fighter that has only three heavy-weight fights to his name, these are pretty impressive odds.
Ultimately, they are a reflection of Joshua’s steady demise since Andy Ruiz Jr handed him his first defeat three years ago, shattering the confidence he had built in his career so far.
The question is, can Joshua reclaim that confidence, defy the odds and gain a victory over his Ukrainian nemesis on 20 August, or will we see one of the sport’s great champions perform for the last time in the ring?
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