Warren Critiques Joshua: “He Doesn’t Commit To Throwing Big Shots Like He Used To”

Frank Warren Sees A Different Anthony Joshua In The Ring

Frank Warren critiques Anthony Joshua
Frank Warren (L, Francesco Guidicini), Anthony Joshua (Mark Robinson)

Frank Warren Critiques Anthony Joshua for Being a Safety-First Fighter

Opinions continue to come in analyzing Anthony Joshua’s (25-3, 22 KOs) performance in his unanimous decision win over Jermain Franklin (21-2, 14 KOs) on April 1. The latest to chime in with their commentary is promoter Frank Warren, who feels that AJ is a fighter who has lost his confidence. During an interview with England’s iFL TV, Warren said the following after watching’s Joshua’s victory over Franklin:

“I don’t want to use the word safety-first, but I think now, he doesn’t commit himself to throwing the big shots like he used to. That’s what big punchers do. That’s why they get caught like he got caught . . . I just think he wanted to get through the fight, and that’s what he did, and I think he wanted to get through the second fight with Usyk. It was the same thing.”

“For me, he’s not the same AJ. Can he revert back to what he was? We will see . . . He’s thirty-three years of age. Can he do it? Could he do what he did in the past? Could he do it today to Tyson Fury? Can he do it to a Joe Joyce, to a Wilder? No, I don’t think he can. Not from what I’ve seen.”


Several boxing observers feel Joshua has not been the same since a shocking seventh-round stoppage loss to Andy Ruiz in June 2019. The thought is that the two-time unified heavyweight champion has become gun-shy. Joshua didn’t quell that narrative against Franklin.

AJ had his way throughout and controlled the action against Franklin. But the prevailing thought was that he would roll through and stop him. Instead, Joshua was content to use the jab and fight from distance. He didn’t force the action and be a bully against the much smaller opponent. Additionally, Joshua was guilty of doing plenty of holding during the fight. It left a bad taste in the mouths of many insiders.

Context is critical. Joshua still has the physical ability to put things back together and possibly win another world title. It also must be pointed out that his most recent outing was his first under the guidance of new trainer Derrick James. But there will continue to be a legion of folks in the boxing community who will speculate whether AJ will ever get his full swagger back. Joshua is a fighter in transition and at a true crossroads in his career.

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About Mike W.1996 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.