Jock’s ‘off topic’ rant of the week: Anthony ‘Hollywood’ Joshua

Ranting-Homer-Simpson

Evening all, this feature is something I’ve been toying with for a couple of weeks and if it’s well received, I hope to turn it into a community thing. It’s purely a place to vent about something non-football related that winds us up. Anyone who wants to post a rant of the week, email it to myself or any of the mods and we’ll get it posted for you assuming it’s suitable - let’s steer clear of divisive or extreme views.

First off, let me start this rant by saying I’m a massive Anthony Joshua fan. He’s the driving force behind the resurgence in heavyweight boxing and in particular, British heavyweight boxing. He’s exciting to watch, he’s a gentleman outside the ring and a terrific role model, so what’s not to like?

I’ll tell you what. AJ is box office, there’s no doubt about it and he’s probably the most marketable sportsman in the world right now but are you a celebrity or a fighter? A cash cow or a warrior? There were signs last night that worry me he’s beginning to become the former.

First off, he has about six different songs before he comes out. Then it’s the big dramatic pause and fireworks but what really got me was his walk down to the ring. He’s all smiles and he’s high fiving fans like a WWE wrestler.

During the whole thing, I’m saying to my mate that I’m watching it with that he reminded me of Apollo Creed’s ring walk before his fateful fight with Ivan Drago in Rocky IV - not in the zone at all for a fight. Too comfortable, too much glitz and glamour, everyone cheering your name and lots of posing which is all part of the game sure, but it’s getting to another level at AJ fights. Everyone expects him to just turn up and win but there’s a solid, hungry Russian on the other side of the ring with other ideas and what happens? AJ gets punched about the place for the first two rounds and has to have his nose broken before he wakes up and realises he’s in a fight. He did well to ride out the onslaught and went on to finish in devastating style but at elite level, you can’t give two rounds away and take shots like he did in the first two rounds.

As I said, I’m a big AJ fan but if he really wants to rewrite the history books, a little less of the circus that surrounds him would be beneficial or I feel it’s only a matter of time before it starts to affect his killer instinct. The showbiz side of things obviously has it’s place but he needs to decide if he wants to be a big money celebrity or a fighter as you can’t fully focus on both.

One thing I will say is he seemed a little irritable at times in the build up to this fight, in a way I haven’t really seen before so hopefully the whole rodeo that follows him everywhere is getting on his nerves too and he decides to trim the herd before (hopefully) unifying the division against Wilder in April.
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