By Jim Dower: 2-time former heavyweight champion ‘Big’ George Foreman rates Anthony Joshuaas the top heavyweight in the division and the guy to beat in this era. Foreman, 68, says the best heavyweight match that can be made right now is Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder, according to Foreman.
Unfortunately, it’s a fight that likely won’t be made given the inability for the two heavyweights to agree on the purse. Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn believe they deserve the bigger cut of the money.
Wilder wants a 50-50 split, and that’s not agreeable to Team Joshua.
“I think he’s a legitimate heavyweight champion. He’s on the top of the list as far as one to beat,” said Foreman to thesun.co.uk.
“One day when they put together the Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder fight, it would probably be one of the greatest heavyweight fights in boxing in the modern day.”
Joshua vs. Wilder fight might not take place until one of the 2 have been exposed by someone else, and their careers not where they are right now with them still on top.
For the fight to get made, it’ll probably require one of them to be beaten. If it’s Joshua, his purse demands will edge closer to a 50-50 split.
He won’t be able to dictate a 60-40 or 65-35 split with Wilder once he loses to someone. Likewise, if Wilder loses to one of the contenders, his demand of a 50-50 deal with Joshua won’t hold water. Wilder and his management won’t be able to argue their case for even money split with the unbeaten IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Joshua.
“What Anthony Joshua has is what every group of fighters should – he is conditioned,” said Foreman.
“This guy works out, gets in the ring, gets knocked down in the 11th-round but he’s got legs to get up and fight and even earn a knockout like he did against Klitschko,” said Foreman.
Foreman is a little off in talking about Joshua’s conditioning. Joshua’s conditioning is not as good as Foreman believes it to be. Joshua’s weakness is perceived be his stamina.
He gassed out against Dillian Whyte, Wladimir Klitschko and Carlos Takam.
If Whyte hadn’t torn up his shoulder in the 2nd round of the Joshua fight, he would have had a great chance of knocking him out. Joshua was hurt in round 2 of the Whyte fight. Joshua gassed out in round 6 of the Klitschko fight earlier this year in April, and subsequently knocked down by him.
Wladimir made the decision not to step on the gas to for a knockout in round 7, and he paid the price in getting stopped in the 11th after Joshua got his second wind.
“He has the condition and the will to win. He could’ve existed in any era,” said Foreman about Joshua.
Joshua would have had problems against a prime Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and Sonny Liston. Joshua wouldn’t have lost to all of them, but there’s a good chance he would have been beaten by more than 2 of them.
Joshua’s stamina isn’t good, and his chin has already been shown to be vulnerable.
Joshua is in negotiations for a unification fight with WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. If Joshua can get past Parker, he’ll be close to proving himself to be the best heavyweight in the division. Joshua would still need to beat Wilder to take the top honors to be the legitimate No.1 heavyweight in the division.
Until he does that, you can’t say Joshua is the No.1 heavyweight in boxing. All we know right now is Joshua is better than the 41-year-old Klitschko, 36-year-old Carlos Takam, and the other heavyweights his promoter Eddie Hearn has matched him with.
Joshua needs to defeat Wilder to prove himself as the top heavyweight.