Former WBO World Cruiserweight Champion and now Sky Sports Boxing pundit, Johnny Nelson, has urged Anthony Joshua to take a year away from the ring. Nelson believes that a long lay-off will do Joshua the world of good before returning to action in some potentially huge fights against the likes of Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.
AJ Needs To Reset Before Thinking Of Ring Return, Says Nelson
After two successive defeat at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk, it seems that Anthony Joshua has come to a crossroads in his boxing career.
There is no doubt that ‘AJ’ is still one of the best heavyweights in the world, but after two defeats in a row and a third career defeat, some fans are calling for Joshua to call time on his career.
One man who thinks Joshua has what it takes to return to the pinnacle of the heavyweight division is the former British cruiserweight, Johnny Nelson. The former world champion believes that ‘AJ’ can return to the heavyweight summit once again, but that he should take a year away from the sport first.
In an interview this past weekend with iFL TV, the Nelson made his feelings known about Anthony Joshua and what he thinks ‘AJ’ should do next:
“AJ is at the crossroads now where he’s going to different trainers, and then he said, ‘I might take a year off’. I think he should take a year off.
“Look at what he’s achieved. He started boxing when he was 18 years old,’ Nelson added.
“He’s achieved ridiculously good things, but he’s still broken. He’s still not over the two losses from Usyk. He still has got to get his strength back, his belief back.”
It is clear to see that Nelson is an admirer of Joshua, and only wants the best for his British boxing counterpart. The Sky Sports Boxing pundit as been in a similar situation before himself, so his advice to Joshua could be vital. the former WBO World Cruiserweight Champions insists that ‘AJ’ should only return to the ring for the right reasons:
“AJ, he needs to reset. He needs to think, ‘I need to be back here again’. He needs his motivation to fight, and he needs them for the right reasons because it’s not for the dollars.
“He’s got to do this because he wants to do this because he has a purpose to do this. He doesn’t just what to make up the numbers,” said the former WBO Cruiserweight Champion.
It is clear that Nelson thinks Joshua has what it takes to get back to the very top again. However, if Joshua is to return and get back to the pinnacle of the sport once again, Nelson insists it must be for the right reasons:
“AJ has lost two fights off a bounce, and now he’s got to sit back and think, ‘I’ve got to make the right decision’. He needs to make it through the head, not the heart, because if he fights from the heart, he’s fighting for the wrong reason.”
There is no doubting the heart, talent, will, grit and determination of Anthony Joshua. We could clearly see how much it meant to him in the aftermath of the second Usyk defeat as he broke down on the microphone. Joshua’s love for the sport of boxing still seems as strong as ever, it’s just that his mind needs a break from the mental pressure he has been under for the past decade.
Potential fights with the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder are still absolutely enormous down the line, if Joshua is to return to the ring next year. Despite losing two in a row, his resumé is as good, if not better than his heavyweight rivals. On hi day, there is no doubt that Joshua can beat everyone in the division and become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world.
Joshua’s long-term promoter, Eddie Hearn, has said that he wants ‘AJ’ to fight early in 2023. The likes of former foe Dillian Whyte, Otto Wallin and Michael Hunter are some of the names who have been throw in the hat for Joshua’s next fight, which is rumoured to be booked for March.
Whether or not Joshua returns to the ring early next year of if he takes Nelson’s advice and has a longer lay-off, one thing is for sure. Anthony Joshua is still the biggest star in the heavyweight division. ‘AJ’ could well come back in 2023 and prove to the world that he is still a force to be reckoned with and has the beating of both Wilder and Fury. Only time will tell what happens in the heavyweight division in the future.
Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte 2 Future Betting Odds
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