Is Anthony Joshua the Most Protected Boxer in the World?

Published 02/10/2021, 8:02 AM EST
Boxing – Heavyweight World Title Fight – Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – The SSE Arena, London, Britain – December 12, 2020 Anthony Joshua during his fight against Kubrat Pulev Pool via REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge


Anthony Joshua is the unified heavyweight champion who holds the WBA, WBO, and IBF belts. He has achieved all of this in only 25 professional career fights. However, he still faces criticism for his choice of opponents.

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DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 07: Anthony Joshua poses for a photo with the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title belts after the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Matchroom Boxing ‘Clash on the Dunes’ show at the Diriyah Season on December 07, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Picking opponents is a highly controversial subject in the sport. Many great fighters, including the likes of Floyd Mayweather, have been on the receiving end of this. Some even question the legacy of Mayweather for choosing to fight opponents at the most convenient time.

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Joshua comes under similar criticism from critics. However, how much weight do these claims hold? In his short career, Anthony Joshua has fought the likes of Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker, Carlos Takam, among others.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Anthony Joshua (White Shorts) catches Wladimir Klitschko (Grey Shorts) with a right hand upper cut in the 11th round of their IBF, WBA and IBO Heavyweight World Title bout at Wembley Stadium on April 29, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Moreover, he has always stated his desire to fight the best in the division. He wanted the Kubrat Pulev fight three years before it eventually happened. He also agreed to fight Jarrell Miller, who later failed a drug test.

The only two big names Joshua has not fought are Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. However, his obligations to mandataries, monetary disagreements, and mismatched schedules contributed to this. Therefore, when you look closely at his career, all the criticism that ‘AJ’ faces is slightly unfair. He is not the most protected boxer in the world.

READ: 10 Ridiculous Things Mike Tyson Wasted His Money On

Why does Anthony Joshua face criticism for being a protected boxer?

Joshua started boxing at the late age of 18. He had a troubled past and took to the sport to put things right. However, his power and hard work took him to the top of the division in 2017 when he beat long-time heavyweight king, Wladimir Klitschko.

However, this was when Tyson Fury was out of the sport and Klitschko was in the twilight of his career. Thus, fans feel that Joshua was almost gifted the title thanks to the situation he found himself in.

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Moreover, the whole controversy with Wilder and the negotiations of a potential undisputed fight only added to this. The two could not agree to monetary terms and the ‘Bronze Bomber’ claimed Joshua was ducking him.

His promoter Eddie Hearn is also famous for being notoriously hard to work with. Therefore, a deal was never done. Now, given that Joshua will face Fury even though he could have chosen an easier fight against Oleksandr Usyk, it may bring an end to this idea.

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Do you think Anthony Joshua is the most protected boxer in the world?

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Leonardo Carvalho

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Leonardo Carvalho is a Boxing Writer for EssentiallySports. Before working as a boxing web journalist, Leonardo dabbled in roles ranging from an SEO specialist to a Chegg expert. Alongside his current role, Leonardo runs a YouTube channel where he combines his passion for fitness with sports.

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