I give new British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (15-0, 15 KOs) full credit for beating his chubby fellow countryman Dillian Whyte (16-1, 13 KOs) by a 7th round knockout last night in their pay-per-view fight on Sky Box Office, but the win really did nothing to change the perceptions that fans have about Joshua as far as him being slow, robotic and having stamina problems.
The victory also didn’t change the minds of this writer that Joshua is still too robotic to beat a 21st century athlete like WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder or even some of the other top heavyweights in the division. Like I said, I give Joshua full credit for beating Whyte, but honestly that doesn’t mean jack to me.
Joshua can beat a 100 blubbery Whyte type fighters, and it still doesn’t mean he can beat a talented heavyweight like Wilder or some of the top contenders like Alexander Povetkin.
Joshua was in real trouble last night when he got hammered by a left hook by Whyte in the 2nd round. It was extremely fortunate for Joshua that Whyte didn’t keep applying pressure on him after the 2nd round, because it would have been all over if he had. Joshua was completely out of breath going into the 3rd round and was huffing and puffing like an old steam engine going up a steep hill with a full load of cars behind it.
Joshua was ready to be knocked out, but Whyte was too heavy and out of breath to finish him off proper. You can certainly celebrate Joshua’s victory if you want and shutout what nearly happened in the 2nd round of that contest, but I can’t. Joshua was clearly ready to be knocked out, but the guy that was in the ring with him was too blubbery and ill-conditioned to do the job on him.
Now if that was the fine-tuned Deontay Wilder in the ring with Joshua, I think the fight would have been over in 2nd round. Wilder wouldn’t have tripped all over himself the way Whyte did after he got Joshua hurt. Wilder would have finished Joshua off, and if he didn’t finish him off in that round, he would have done it in the 3rd.
People need to stand back and take a proper look at Joshua’s performance last night with both eyes wide open and see what really happened in the ring. When I look around, I see too many boxing fans blinded by what they saw in the 7th round and forgetting what happened in the 2nd round with Joshua getting hurt and being on the verge of getting knocked out.
There’s no reason not to be excited about Joshua as an interesting project type heavyweight, but don’t pretend that he’s someone that is ready go move up and snatch the world title from a talent like Deontay Wilder, because he’s not. Joshua is still too flawed, too robotic and too stamina plagued to beat a top notch 21st century heavyweight like Deontay Wilder.