Joshua Raring For Redemption: Hearn Hopes Aggressiveness Leads To Glory
Eddie Hearn is pleased to see an aggressive, amped-up Anthony Joshua this week because he feels this will lead to a good performance from him this Saturday night against Otto Wallin at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua put a smile on Hearn’s face this week, looking like a caged tiger ready to break out against his victim, Wallin (26-1, 14 KOs), to rip him to shreds in their headliner on DAZN PPV.
AJ has got to do something to revert back to how he used to fight seven or eight years ago when he was on the top of his game. He’s expected to sign a contract on Saturday night for a two-fight deal to face Deontay Wilder next year, but he’s got to win on Saturday night, and so does he in his clash against Joseph Parker.
Joshua (26-3, 23 KOs) has acted angry and aggressive for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, and it didn’t help him all that much in the fight. He roughed him up a little, but other than that, it was a similar performance at the first first.
Hearn wants an aggressive Joshua
“I want him to be more aggressive. I like what I see. You can’t really win with AJ,” said Eddie Hearn to TNT Sports Boxing about Anthony Joshua being more aggressive during the build-up to his fight this Saturday night against Otto Wallin.
“On one hand, he’s too plastic. He doesn’t look up for it. Then he’s too aggressive. Then he’s too short. Then he waffles on with his answers. It’s like whatever you want,” said Hearn about Joshua.
It’s not so much Joshua’s lack of aggressiveness outside the ring. Where he’s had his problems is inside the ring, showing the bravery and willingness to go for the kill like he used to do during his best year.
What’s added to the problems is Joshua’s stamina and issues with his punch resistance. He can be the most aggressive fighter in the world, but if he can take a punch or if his fuel tank is limited, he won’t succeed against Wallin.
AJ was lost in tactics
“What I’m seeing from him and everything I’m hearing from Ben Davison, they’re pumped up for this. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do under Ben Davison,” said Hearn about Joshua’s new trainer, Davison.
“AJ is one of those guys, when he believes in the game plan and he believes in what he has to do, I think he’s unbeatable. You’ve seen in fights that he hasn’t done that, particularly in the two Usyk fights. He was a bit lost in the tactics.”
If Davison is training Joshua to be more aggressive, that would be interesting because he’s noted for being a defensive coach. Joshua is already fighting defensively since his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, so he doesn’t need Davison for that. He’s got that area covered quite nicely.
“He wasn’t comfortable in camp. Time will tell, but at the moment, he wants to take somebody’s head off. It’s a good atmosphere. You’ve got Jarrell Miller. I think he’s enjoying it,” said Hearn about Joshua.
“He’s the favorite but a guest fighter in a way. He’s on someone else’s card. It’s a Queensberry event. He’s being asked to sign for life-changing money, but a career-changing fight potentially against Deontay Wilder if that’s signed. That’s a fight that we’d all like to see,” said Gareth A. Davies to Boxing Social about Joshua.
“He might fight for the IBF title against Filip Hrgovic next year if that comes vacant after Fury & Usyk fight. There are a lot of irons in the fire. Demeanor? I like an angry Joshua during fight week. I don’t like him to be too relaxed. I think that’s a good sign.”
If Joshua signs the two-fight contract to fight Deontay Wilder twice next year, he won’t have time to face Filip Hrgovic for the IBF title once it’s stripped from Tyson Fury.
“I know he’s in good hands with Ben Davison. The little chats I’ve had with Ben Davison have assured me that it’s been a very good camp that they’ve had together. Joshua is very switched on. He’s very serious about this period in his career, which is the final period in the last three or four fights.”
Some believe Davison has trained AJ the same way Derrick James did by focusing on movement and boxing over being aggressive. If Joshua boxes Wallin, he’ll be playing to his strengths.
“He is very wealthy. He’s only proving things to himself now. It doesn’t matter what we think, even though it does matter in a weight sort of way around the narrative. I feel he feels over-criticized,” said Davies.