Resume, legacy – Hall of Fame credentials. These, along with winning titles and securing generational wealth, are the things all elite fighters seem to aspire to the most. And former two-time heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua is no different.
Money may be the biggest factor for AJ these days; this is something he was candid enough to admit a while back in an interview. But Joshua, who turns 34 this year, still wants greatness; he still has some lofty goals.
Becoming a three-time heavyweight champion is one of Joshua’s main goals right now, and if AJ can get past Dillian Whyte and then Deontay Wilder, chances are he will get himself a shot at doing just that. We all still hope for the Battle of Britain, Joshua against Tyson Fury, and if he were to flatten Wilder – who, of course, has only been beaten by Fury – the pressure on Fury to fight AJ would be enormous. But that’s a different story for now.
In terms of going into the prestigious Hall of Fame one day, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said his star fighter would earn access if: “You beat Dillian, Wilder, and Fury, you’re in the Hall of Fame. No pressure.”
It might be a BIG if, but if Joshua did fight these three (the Whyte fight, a rematch, is, of course, all set for August 12, a done deal) and if he managed to defeat them, then yes, he would be a lock for the HOF. You agree, right? So, it’s still a possibility; enshrinement in Canastota is still doable for AJ. It’s still within reach. The much talked of Wilder fight could and should happen as, well, as talked about, this providing Joshua steps on no banana skins in the Whyte return. But winning that one would be some challenge for Joshua.
The sheer, raw power Wilder carries would present clear and present danger to AJ, no doubt about it. And, if Wilder landed one of his vaporizing right hand shots on Joshua’s chin, it’s possible, some would say probable, others still would say inevitable, that Joshua would be left on the canvas in a heap, all dreams and aspirations of going in The Hall a painfully distant memory.
But if you’re an AJ fan, you will be hoping, maybe even believing, your hero can do it – get past Wilder and again aim to nail down that super-fight with Fury. Getting that fight might prove to be Joshua’s toughest task (but again, that’s a different story).
Three fights, all of them dangerous, are all that might be preventing Anthony Joshua from a place in the HOF. Full credit to Joshua for taking these three fights if he actually does so. Whether he wins or loses.