Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua has offered a rare insight into the mind of a world-class professional athlete in today’s times and has spoken candidly about the pressure he feels ahead of Alexander Povetkin on September 22nd.
Today’s social media times we live in while have been advantageous to boxers in terms of getting their names out there, they have also placed a higher strain on their state of being mentally and emotionally.
Everything is highlighted now.
Years ago there was never so much public information about fighter negotiations, their money and pay per view numbers debated as there is in today’s times.
It’s hard to comprehend without putting yourself in someone else’ shoes but Joshua has offered a unique insight into this type of pressure.
Speaking on a US media call, Joshua said:
“It’s a different era. There’s so much pressure. Not only because of the fact I’ve got to face Alexander Povetkin who is a highly ranked challenger, he’s coming to win, there’s no doubt about that, I’m coming to win, but it’s all the pressure surrounding the sport of boxing now as well. The Western world is so commercialized that they don’t think it leaves room for any error anymore and this is what I’m facing now.”
He went on to say:
“It’s not like I’m a featherweight and I can go out there and box twelve rounds and come out there with not a scratch. There’s a possibility that he (Povetkin) could swing a sweet left hook, boom, lights out. History changes. That’s enough pressure in itself because you know what the backlash comes with.”
Ultimately, Joshua has proven himself already as a great fighter. He’s rose to the pressure time and time again so far to be fair.
Also, at the risk of disagreeing with the above, boxing isn’t about keeping the ‘0’ on your record anymore.
Times are changing for the better now.
The UFC within mixed martial arts has taught us as an industry in boxing to recognize that it’s okay for a fighter to have a loss if he was in an entertaining fight.
People can come back in reality.
If they want to.
The vast majority of all great champions had losses.
At the end of the day, you learn much more from defeat than you do in victory.
Life will teach anyone that after a while.
Great athletes, great businessmen and great competitors all perform better under pressure. Pressure is for tires really, and is only a positive thing if channeled correctly.
Joshua knows that, but, the above from him shows that even the world’s strongest men are only human.
Come September 22nd, he’ll be asked to rise once again to that pressure on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.