Anthony Joshua hit with dedication dig over ‘blue chip’ sponsors

I still feel fresh and young – Anthony Joshua ready for Jermaine Franklin fight

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Carl Froch has called Anthony Joshua’s dedication into question ahead of his comeback fight against Jermaine Franklin. The former super-middleweight world champion believes AJ is under a massive amount of pressure from his ‘blue chip’ sponsorships and may have his attention directed elsewhere given the amount of money he has earned in his career so far.

Joshua returns to the ring on April 1 against Franklin at the O2 Arena, London. Having lost three of his last five fights including his two most recent encounters with Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua is under more pressure than ever to perform.

His own promoter Eddie Hearn even admitted that a loss to Franklin could spell the end of Joshua’s career. As a result, the Watford powerhouse has removed himself from all distractions by relocating to Dallas, Texas to prepare for the fight with new trainer Derrick James.

However, Froch believes the damage could already be done. “Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been around the camps, but looking at his performance and listening to him beforehand – it must be hard, he’s made a lot of money, a lot of commercial pressures, a lot of sponsorship outside, he’s doing adverts for Under Armour, Lucozade, Beats, Hugo Boss,” Froch told BonusCodeBets. “These blue-chip companies are behind him and brings massive pressure.

“I just think he took his eye off the ball, off the boxing game. He wasn’t fully dedicated to his sport. He’s got to get up and do the runs. Marvin Hagler said it’s hard to get out of bed when you’re wearing silk pyjamas.”

But The Cobra still holds out hope for a return of ‘the old AJ’. “If AJ can go back to that fighter who climbed off the canvas against Wladimir Klitschko and then sent him into orbit with that uppercut, if he can rediscover his finisher’s instinct, and go back to using his size and combinations, he can still be a threat to anyone at heavyweight,” he added.


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“If he can set his mind right and banish the ghosts of Ruiz and Usyk, he has a chance to get back to the top of the mountain – but it’s a big ask. He’s been a great ambassador for British boxing, only time will tell what he has left.”

A win against Franklin opens the door to big fights against Dillian Whyte, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. All three men have been mentioned as possible opponents for AJ in 2023 with Hearn teasing the Whyte rematch for the summer and a blockbuster showdown with either Wilder or Fury for the back end of the year.

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