Financial Success vs. Ring Aggression: Teddy Atlas on Anthony Joshua's Downfall
Anthony Joshua, the former two-time heavyweight champion, has recently been in the center of the storm following his bad form. The boxing champion, who is originally from the United Kingdom, has had a number of fans as well as analysts question his ring violence, which was previously considered as the driving force for his climb to the top of the division.
The widespread belief among many is that Joshua’s downward spiral was triggered by his first professional loss to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019. During that face-off, Joshua found himself hitting the canvas on four separate occasions, which is thought to have had a lasting impact on his fighting style and confidence.
However, acclaimed boxing coach-turned-analyst, Teddy Atlas, has a contrasting perspective on Joshua’s current predicament. Atlas shared his insights on the popular boxing-themed Macklin’s Take podcast, strongly countering the popular narrative that ties Joshua’s decline to the bruising defeat he suffered at the hands of Ruiz.
Atlas argued that the shift in Joshua’s performance is not tied to any physical or mental toll from his bout with Ruiz. Instead, he suggested that Joshua’s change in form might be connected to his already achieved financial success.
According to Atlas, Joshua’s current form could be reflective of the boxer having already attained substantial financial success. Atlas hinted that such monetary achievement may have potentially lessened Joshua’s competitive drive, leading to a shift in his performance and style.
In this view, Atlas diverges from the mainstream narrative, suggesting a more profound reason for Joshua’s current form. He effectively highlights the possible psychological implications of a boxer reaching significant financial milestones, and the potential impact it can have on their fighting aggression and ambition.
Indeed, the discourse surrounding Anthony Joshua’s form and potential reasons for his perceived decline offer a captivating angle to the ever-evolving saga of his boxing career.
Teddy said: “When you talk about the Klitschko fight, bravo. He got off the floor with a guy who can hit with a right hand, bravo, that’s the behaviour of a champion. But the guy was 40 years old, let’s not forget that. Would he have got off the floor with a 30 year old Klitschko? I don’t know. But he did and he behaved like a champion.
But what I take out of that fight is he never behaved quite the same again, finding a way, doing what a champion does, getting up.
With the Ruiz fight, everyone looked at the physical parts, but what I’m saying is he didn’t behave like the way he did against Klitschko. I have to believe it’s this, and I know in my mind, he didn’t want to behave, he’s too rich to behave that way – I’m going to make it real simple.
When it was against Klitschko it meant everything, he didn’t have a bank account anywhere near as big as he does now and it was in front of his people. He didn’t have to get off the floor against Ruiz, his bank account was beyond all numbers, so he was safe, he was already safe – in boxing you should never be safe.”
Joshua will fight Dillian Whyte next on August 12, with many saying if there is a man to bring out the old style ‘AJ’ it’s ‘The Body Snatcher’.