Boxing as a sport can force even a cynic like this writer to crack a smile every once in a while. The verbal warfare and mind games can almost be a bit predictable after a certain point of covering the sport – but it’s all part of the soap opera of professional boxing at the end of the day. What is it that Shakespeare said one time, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”
Well if boxing is the best modern-day hype business of pro sports – expect all the bows and whistles next week for the Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker announcement.
It’s going to be another huge stadium show for Joshua but more importantly, a major unification fight in the heavyweight division which has a number of implications for the sport as a whole.
Joseph Parker’s promoter David Higgins knows this and is already starting his early mind games to get one up for his man.
Higgins seems like a likeable character. A bit quirky but another player on the stage in this boxing pantomime of ours that ultimately will make the fight with Joshua that bit more interesting.
Speaking about Anthony Joshua in an interview with Behind The Gloves Higgins questioned if Joshua is showing early signs of madness and believes fully that they’ve rattled him:
“He (Anthony Joshua) started talking about himself in the third person. The first sign of potential madness. I’m sure Anthony Joshua is a lovely guy and we respect him, but we think he’s a little bit rattled because the Federer King of Dubai stuff is sort of delusions of grandeur a bit and the trying to demonise me is sort of delusions of persecutions.”
“He hasn’t really shown that before until team Parker started going hard publicly at his chin and other weaknesses. Perhaps harder than other opponents have done and so we think that he’s rattled.”
Whether Joshua is rattled or not remains to be seen.
Not long ago though he did acknowledge the fact that he thinks team Parker are trying to get to him mentally – but that he is not paying any attention to it.
Joshua for the most part doesn’t seem to bothered about Parker. He’ll need to watch out for complacency if this is the case in his training camp.
One couldn’t imagine his coach Rob McCracken allowing him to get away with that type of mentality though. Not even for a second.
For the interview on Behind The Gloves YouTube (hat tip) check it out here: