Roy Jones Jr Speaks About What He Feels Was the Key To Anthony Joshua’s Demise
Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) hoped a win over mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) would springboard him towards a long-awaited unification bout with WBC world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Instead, he was soundly defeated and lost the unified IBF/WBA ‘ regular ’/WBO world heavyweight titles as a result. Usyk outclassed and outfought the 31-year-old from the opening bell. The former champ is now left to pick up the pieces. He and his adoring fanbase are left pondering what went so wrong.
One who may have an answer to that question is Roy Jones Jr. Doing ringside color commentary for DAZN, the former pound-for-pound king sat down with iFL TV to discuss what took place. Jones said the fight didn’t go as he expected but gave an interesting take on what caused Joshua’s demise.
BE THE BOSS
“Joshua came out and gave Usyk respect right away. He let Usyk control the center of the ring, so Usyk won the first three rounds.
I was surprised because I know in the late rounds, Usyk was going to win most of those because of his knowledge, his IQ. I wasn’t expecting Joshua to give him the first few rounds. You can’t do that.
If you let the little man get three rounds, then he feels, ‘oh, I got this easy, I’m in the game.’ You can’t let the little man in the game. So, I never thought Joshua would allow Usyk get in the game that quick.”
To Jones’ point, Usyk was intent on setting the pace early. The former world cruiserweight champ did a terrific job of using the jab and elite footwork to set up the overhand left and 3-4 punch combinations. Joshua tried to make adjustments but ultimately had no answers.
There is a rematch clause which “AJ” said he intends to invoke. He wants to fight Usyk again immediately. Jones believes if Joshua is to turn things around, he must carry a completely different mindset.
“There are a few adjustments he can make…A little bit of it is boxing, but it’s more mental than physical…He has to get that killer mentality…you have to treat boxing like a street fight. If you run the block and they come to your block, ‘you either go back over there or you die. This is my block, I kill and die for my block.’
That’s what boxing really is. So many people have lost their art because they start chasing the money and they forget the real art of, I’m going to try until I die.”
In victories over Dillian Whyte and Wladimir Klitschko, Joshua displayed the ability to overcome adversity. Against Usyk, he seemed hesitant to truly take the fight to him. Does AJ truly have that killer mentality? Does he have the attitude to be the boss of his block? It’s officially gut-check time for Anthony Joshua.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.