Anthony Joshua has had a difficult few years, but he is more determined than ever to win world titles in 2023.
Joshua has only fought twice in the last two years, losing his first fight by unanimous decision to Oleksandr Usyk, and despite looking better in the rematch, 'AJ' was defeated again, this time by split decision.
This puts Joshua in an unusual position, as his next fight may not be for a heavyweight world title belt for the first time since 2015. “I lost a fight this year which took me out of the championship title race,” Joshua told a news reporting outlet.
“So when you’re constantly fighting for championships after championships you’re constantly in the race for a long time.
“When I lost, I was finally out of the race and overcoming that was a new beginning, something I’ve been used to, being in the title race for seven years and then finally realising that this isn’t my norm anymore.
“It’s challenging to overcome that.
“I’ve always been a competitor, a challenge to me is just another obstacle that I can get over, and for some, I feel like it’s easier to knock them down and keep them down. “But as a competitor, it’s just something that you look at as another challenge that I can overcome.
“It’s going to take work, being in that race I’m used to being in that competitor’s mindset, but I’m overcoming it for sure.”
In terms of what comes next, Joshua has hinted that he wants the winner of Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, which is scheduled for the first quarter of next year. 'AJ' stated that he wants to win a world title again, and given that all of the belts are currently held by Usyk or Fury, he would need to defeat one of them.
“The opportunities are always there for me, there are big opportunities to fight. “I’ll fight whoever’s ready, I’m ready and we’ll get cracking in the New Year. I want to be consistent, be fit to fight, and everything comes off the back of that. “I’m dying for the world championship, 100%. That’s all my heart and soul is leading towards.”
Having said that, there is a long line of heavyweight contenders after Fury and Usyk battle for the undisputed world heavyweight championship. The more likely options for the Olympic gold medalist are a rematch with Whyte, a fight against former Fury foe Otto Wallin, or even a potentially extremely lucrative clash with Wilder, so, as Joshua says, there are still 'big opportunities' out there for him.