One of the things about this great sport of boxing is, right after a fight has been fought, when it’s done and dusted and is in the books, we fans find ourselves asking a bunch of questions. Case in point Anthony Joshua’s quite brilliant win on Saturday (if not Muhammad Ali-brilliant; enough of the comparisons between Joshua’s clever decision win over an out of shape Andy Ruiz and some of Ali’s masterpieces against the likes of, well, better fighters than Ruiz – please!).
Joshua has fans wondering with great anticipation just what his next move will be. Will the two-time heavyweight boss take care of his mandatories, or one of them anyway, with a fight against Oleksandr Usyk (interesting in the opinion of plenty) or a fight against Kubrat Pulev (dull as dishwater in the opinion of plenty)? Or will AJ give us a super-fight against either Deontay Wilder (10 out of 10 on the Richter Scale of excitement, on paper at least), or Tyson Fury (10 out of 10 for sheer intrigue)?
We must wait and see, but already there is plenty of talk about what the 30 year old star may do next; a return fight with Dillian Whyte also mentioned as a possibility in places. Another question some fans are asking is this: has AJ changed his style of fighting, his ring approach, for good? Remember what Wladimir Klitschko did after he was humbled (in not just one stoppage loss, but in three) – he came back with his new, hit, grab, hit, grab, conservative approach, and it sure worked; to the extent that Klitschko ruled the division for over a decade.
Joshua and Klitschko are quite close, the two were in contact before Saturday’s must-win rematch, and a lot of Wlad’s experiences, his technique, has surely rubbed off on Joshua. If Joshua has found his new style, the one he showed us in Saudi Arabia, and if it is here to stay, we might not get as much raw excitement as we once did from Joshua (and how ironic may it one day look that the most thrilling battle Joshua and Klitschko engaged in was the one they fought between one another!), but AJ may well get the results he wants.
It would be interesting, for example, to see how clever boxer Fury would cope with the exact same Joshua who frustrated and defused Ruiz. And how about the lethal-hitting but there to be outboxed Wilder, how would he get on with a smart and conservative Joshua?
Some of the above questions will in time get answered, others will not. But this is what helps make the sport so fascinating. And everyone has an opinion, don’t they?