Teddy Atlas Unsure Whether Anthony Joshua is Comfortable in the Cage

Published 12/17/2020, 8:00 AM EST
Boxing – Heavyweight World Title Fight – Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – The SSE Arena, London, Britain – December 12, 2020 Anthony Joshua celebrates winning his fight against Kubrat Pulev Pool via REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge


Anthony Joshua just had his triumphant return to boxing after COVID, defending his Heavyweight titles against Kubrat Pulev. While Pulev was not a top-ten opponent, he was quite a test. Despite the threat, AJ easily dispatched Pulev, moving a step closer to a Tyson Fury super-fight.

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However, Teddy Atlas thinks that the ghost of AJ’s loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. still haunts him.

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“But even with all that, you could still see the tentativeness in Joshua. You could still see it, you can sense it and you can feel it all night long. He hasn’t gotten that full confidence back, and he’s not all there yet.

“Where he’s not sure if he’s all there. He wants to be there. That’s the key. But he’s not sure that he’s all there, that he can trust himself. He can trust his chin. He can trust the things that he trusted before he fell off the wall like Humpty Dumpty.”

Anthony Joshua lost his titles to Ruiz in a massive upset. However, he did win them back in convincing fashion when the pair had their rematch.

Anthony Joshua: Has the fear of losing passed?

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Many undefeated fighters often wrestle with the title of being undefeated. It adds a lot more pressure to each encounter, and many fighters say they do better after that first loss. However, Ruiz-AJ wasn’t a typical loss. Joshua was out-pointed for most of the fight before going down in the seventh round.

Boxing – Heavyweight World Title Fight – Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev – The SSE Arena, London, Britain – December 12, 2020 Kubrat Pulev is knocked down by Anthony Joshua Pool via REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Tyson Fury is still undefeated, and that is who AJ wants to face next. Fury is known to be a lot calmer heading into his fights, especially since his return to the sport. The fear of losing is there always for every fighter, and it will be there for Fury as well. However, how big is that fear mid-fight?

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If Atlas believes in what he saw, AJ should pay heed to him. Hopefully, this isn’t the case and we can see the AJ of old consistently dominate.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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