Tag Archives: Joseph Parker

Klitschko v Joshua

Joshua’s toughness and grit compare to Ali’s, says Mitchell

Anthony Joshua already shares some of the attributes that helped to make Muhammad Ali ‘The Greatest’, according to acclaimed sports writer Kevin Mitchell.

The Guardian’s boxing correspondent also believes that Joshua won’t be overly troubled when he defends his WBA IBO, IBF world heavyweight titles against WBO champion Joseph Parker at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on March 31st.

Like the majority of boxing experts and pundits, Mitchell backs the bigger stronger man, stating: “Parker doesn’t have the one-punch power to inconvenience Joshua.”

The Briton emulated Ali at amateur level by winning Olympic gold, and since turning pro has become the most accomplished fighter on the global heavyweight scene.

Only New Zealand’s Parker and American Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBO belt, stand between him unifying the division’s various world titles.

Joshua’s toughest fight so far came against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, when he survived a mid-fight knockdown to beat the formidable Ukrainian in 11 rounds.

Resilience

Mitchell told Elephant Sport that Joshua shares a similar resilience to Ali, in the way that each man can bite down on his mouth-piece and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

“Ali and Joshua have the same quality of wanting to keep going,” he said. “When Joshua got up [in the sixth round] against Klitschko, he was smiling… he was actually smiling.”

‘Joshua never made any excuses, and that says a lot to me… He’s a real fighter’ – Kevin Mitchell

He compared this to Ali’s 1970 victory over Oscar Bonavena by TKO in the 15th round, highlighting the ‘Desperation Factor’ that grants truly great champions the ability to gather their strength and summon a win from the brink of disaster.

Mitchell is a big admirer of Joshua, saying: “He’s got a good range of punches,” and that “he’s always in shape.” But his most striking comment of all was: “He’s got a ruthless streak, Joshua… he loves knocking people out.”

Joshua’s menacing trait is so often overlooked, as his humble and friendly demeanour outside of the ring can easily camouflage his vicious competitiveness.

No excuses

Another admirable facet of Joshua is his attitude and refusal to make excuses when things don’t go so well.

Mitchell made this evident, when praising Joshua’s character, as the Brit has never spoken about the head-butt that broke his nose in the early rounds of his win over Carlos Takam last October.

“He never made any excuses, and that says a lot to me… He’s a real fighter.”

Mitchell’s analysis and breakdown of Anthony Joshua’s talents gave me a new-found admiration for the towering Adonis of heavyweight boxing, who over the past few years cemented himself as the man at 200lbs and over.

To have his qualities compared to the greatest heavyweight ever to set foot in the ring, in a career that has spanned just five years to date, is a testament to the potential of Joshua.

Should he emerge victorious in emphatic fashion on March 31st, he’ll be one step closer to fulfilling that potential, and one step closer to matching the achievements of ‘The Greatest’.

Kevin is on Twitter @kevinmitchell50

Klitschko v Joshua image by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann via Flickr Creative Commons under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Fury is true heavyweight king, not Joshua, says Frank Warren

When Anthony Joshua defended his world heavyweight titles against Carlos Takam at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, the biggest indoor crowd in boxing history cheered the British fighter to victory.

But one spectator who was slightly more restrained in his excitement was veteran promoter Frank Warren. Whilst he admires Joshua, Warren says he is not the fighter some fans would have you believe – and he believes the real king of the ring is former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has already made it clear he wants a crack at the champion.

‘Joshua’s got plenty of heart, but he gets hit. He gets caught. So there is a chink there in that armour, and he’s got a long way to go’

Warren has been the UK’s biggest boxing promoters for over three decades. His list of fighters contains a who’s who of former world champions such as Ricky Hatton, Prince Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn, and Joe Calzaghe to name a few. Currently, he promotes stars like Billy Joe Saunders, James DeGale and, of course, Fury.

Last weekend it was all about Eddie Hearn and his number one guy, the WBA, IBF, and IBO World heavyweight champion Joshua, who defeated Takam via a 10th-round technical knockout.

Matchroom Sports promoter Hearn’s show made a statement with all tickets sold and a massive pay-per-view audience watching on TV.

But what did Warren, as someone who has been involved in many of the biggest events in British boxing history, what make of the evening?

“Well, quality wise, I thought the undercard was very average. I don’t think it was great. Takam fought much better than I anticipated. I based it on the facts of having seen the fight against Joseph Parker, who I thought handled him better,” commented Warren.

‘He’s no Ali’

Warren has previously promoted former world champion Fury, who called out Joshua on Twitter following his latest fight. And whilst he admits ‘AJ’ is a good fighter, he says he is no way comparable to some of the all-time greats, as is cheerleaders would have you believe.

“Anthony Joshua for me is a very good heavyweight. I’ve always admired him. He’s a big puncher, he’s got plenty of heart, but he gets hit. He gets caught. So there is a chink there in that armour, and he’s got a long way to go.

‘The number one heavyweight, as soon as he gets his license back, is Tyson Fury’

“Had [Evander] Holyfield been there and catching Anthony Joshua, it would have been lights out. You can’t compare Anthony to Muhammad Ali as some people have in some quarters. Ali had a great chin, and we are talking about Muhammad Ali. I’m quite sure it must embarrass Anthony when people make those comparisons,” stated Warren

The fact, just as Warren pointed out, is that due to his exciting style, Joshua does get clipped at times.

“There are times when he looks vulnerable. He’s won the fight, don’t get me wrong, but he can be caught. [Wladimir] Klitschko [who floored Joshua in their world title fight in April 2017] had him out.

“Klitschko, being a safety first fighter, let him off the hook. Somebody who is a good finisher… who knows what would have happened? He [Joshua] is exciting from that point of view and he will be a part of exciting fights,” Warren continued.

‘Tyson’s number one’

Fury is currently stuck in a battle with the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping after testing positive for a banned substance in October 2016. Fury admitted using cocaine while suffering with depression.

‘The Gypsy King’ was stripped of his titles and his boxing licence was suspended by the board. Fury’s legal team are currently setting up a date for the final hearing with UKAD which might happen in January according to Warren.

“The number one heavyweight, as soon as he gets his license back, is Tyson Fury,” the promoter asserted. “He will get his license back eventually and, more importantly, he’s got to get himself fit and well. And then we’ll see where it all goes.

“I think Tyson needs to get a couple of fights under his belt. Get the ring rust out and be ready to go.”

Should Joshua-Fury come to fruition in 2018, it would certainly be the biggest British heavyweight boxing fight of all time.