Anthony Joshua Addresses Mental Shift To Internal Motivations
Two-time unified heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) returns to the ring on April 1 against Jermaine Franklin (21-1, 14 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, England. Currently at a crossroads in his career, AJ feels it’s time to return to basics.
After back-to-back losses to reigning unified champion Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua changed things in his camp and is now working with a new lead trainer, Derrick James. Blessed with all the physical tools, many pundits felt that AJ was a bit of an incomplete fighter from a mental and technical perspective.
DECONSTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION
During an exclusive interview on the talkSPORT Boxing podcast, Joshua said he’s humbled himself and is learning so much from the teachings of James. The 33-year-old talked about the process that led him to a new trainer.
“I just think there’s still so much more that I can give, still so much more that is in me that I need to get out and that search, that’s how I ended up in Dallas (Texas) in Derrick James’s gym.”
Boxing is just as much about the mental and psychological as it is about anything physical. The Brit said when he lost the rematch to Usyk in August 2022, he came apart and lost his way
After taking time out to reflect on his life and boxing career, AJ feels that for too long, he was searching for the respect and admiration of others. That is no longer the case.
“Now I’m just in a place where it’s like, ‘you know what, fuck everyone, I’m doing this shit for myself’. I ain’t going through that shit no more . . . Listen, if I just knuckle down and take one day at a time, and take one round at a time, and I put my mind to it, what will be will be.”
In short, Joshua is no longer putting pressure on himself. He’s in pursuit of being the best fighter he can be. He hopes the fruits of a new mindset will pay off immediately, starting with his upcoming fight against Franklin.