Anthony Joshua Hires Phycologist Team to Help With Mental State!

Anthony Joshua Makes Major Tweaks to His Team to Help With Mental State Ahead of Ruiz Fight!

Anthnoy Joshua and Navy Seals
Anthony Joshua and a Team of Navy Seals.

Is Anthony Joshua Cracking Under the Pressure?


It certainly been a quizzical week for unified heavyweight world champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (22-0, 21 KO’s). Here on the eve of his title fight showdown with the unlikely Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz Jr, Joshua has supplied the boxing public a few more notable head-scratchers.

Earlier this week, the UK phenomenon provided an interview on SecondsOut while sporting a rather prominent bruise on his face.

When asked about what it was, Joshua merely said it was due to a recovery technique. Beyond those scant few words, he gave no further explanation.

For many, this response was odd to say the least. It would seem a natural thing, if not even an interesting story, to elaborate on how you went somewhere to heal and yet left that place bruised.

AJ opted not to explain any further.

Recently, news broke that Joshua has employed a sports psychologist for the first time. In all actuality, it sounds as if the UK kingpin has hired a small army of mental health experts to aid him in his Madison Square Garden preparations.

In an article by Matt Christie from Boxing News Online, the 22-fight veteran expounds on rationale and need for this change.

Apparently, the extreme rigors of camp life had become a burden, and it was swiftly growing too heavy for Joshua to bear. Recognizing that there were deficiencies, AJ gathered his team together to formulate a master plan.

Expanding the Team

Once all had provided their insight, Team Joshua as a collective decided to hire a sports psychologist. Although, this was not just any sports psychologist; this one had affiliation with the Navy Seals.

“This is the first time I have worked with a psychologist as a pro. We were talking about improving because I don’t know how long I can keep going through these training camps because they’re seriously f**king me over, big time.

There’s a massive amount of work you need to do, no matter how you’re feeling; f**k it, get on with it, that’s boxing.

“We spoke to a lot of teams we work with that [manager] Freddie [Cunningham] had brought to the table.

We partnered up with people who are performance-based and they brought in Navy Seal experts, team-bonding experts, all experts in different types of field, where you’re trying to achieve a goal.”

~Anthony “AJ” Joshua – unified heavyweight world champion

AJ openly admittedly that he had thought about retaining a sports psychologist before, yet felt as though he lacked the experience to benefit from one. Now felt like the right time.

Re-tuning Camp

Along with his greatly expanded team, Joshua set out to formulate the best 16 week training camp possible. The focal points of this camp were to remain calm under pressure, remain calm during the camp and improve his stamina.

It’s perfectly normal for a fighter to tweak their camp. However, the extreme lengths that Joshua has undergone do raise a few questions.

 “They [Navy Seals] are put in situations where they are under a lot of pressure and how do they react, how they’re able to perform under pressure… I have a plan to beat Ruiz on Saturday. But then he goes out and clocks me with a big shot. How do I deal with that situation?” .”

~Anthony “AJ” Joshua – unified heavyweight world champion

Where is Joshua’s mind going into Saturday’s bout? He is going to be on foreign and hostile territory. As a professional, this the first time that AJ can say that.

Perhaps that notion is playing with his mind, or maybe it’s not. Is the pressure to supply a performance on par with Wilder’s recent knockout infecting Joshua with anxiety problems, or is the UK champion moving along smoothly and as planned?

There certainly are a lot of questions! Thankfully we are just one day away, from getting a good measure of the answers we want to hear and see.

Additionally, lets hope that everything is OK with the champion!

By: Bakari Simpson

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About Bakari Simpson 207 Articles
Bakari is a writer and contributor for 3kingsboxing.com. Visit cheetahhead.com to view more of his literary work.

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