Anthony Joshua counselled to take one year break from boxing
Johnny Nelson has urged Anthony Joshua to take a year off from boxing following back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk.
Nelson, a former world champion himself, told iFL TV via Boxing News 24 that ‘AJ’ should take time away from the sport to become ‘comfortable’ again as he looks to resurrect his career as he reaches his twilight years.
“AJ is at the crossroads now where he’s going to different trainers, and then he said, “I might take a year off”. I think he should take a year off,” said Nelson. “I think he should sit back, reset, spend time at many, many gyms, training, submerse himself in it, feel comfortable with it and say, “Now I’ve reset, now I can do this”.”
He seemed set to face Tyson Fury earlier this year, but negotiations collapsed and, after fighting only five times since the start of 2019, there’s now no clear indication of who the 33-year-old could face next, despite his DAZN deal stating he has to fight twice a year.
“Look at what he’s achieved. He started boxing when he was 18 years old,” Nelson added.
“He’s achieved ridiculously good things, but he’s still broken. He’s still not over the two losses from Usyk. He still has got to get his strength back, his belief back.
“AJ, he needs to reset. He needs to think, “I need to be back here again”. He needs his motivation to fight, and he needs them for the right reasons because it’s not for the dollars. He has more money than you and I will ever spend.”
Joshua has spoken of retirement recently but will almost certainly fight again before he calls it a day.
It’s unclear when he will hang up his gloves for good, but Nelson used Derek Chisora as a reference for a fighter carrying on too long when they should be thinking seriously about their future.
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He said: “He’s got to do this because he wants to do this because he has a purpose to do this. He doesn’t just what to make up the numbers. These are the things that are coming into play right now.
“Derek [Chisora] is going out there entertaining everybody, but getting his head smashed in. It’s to the point where even the fans are saying, “Oh God”.
“AJ has lost two fights off a bounce, and now he’s got to sit back and think, “I’ve got to make the right decision”. He needs to make it through the head, not the heart, because if he fights from the heart, he’s fighting for the wrong reason.”