Anthony Joshua has sympathised with Unified Heavyweight Champion, Oleksandr Usyk, for inactivity following failed negotiations with Tyson Fury.
The Ukrainian won the WBA, WBO and IBF belts from ‘AJ’ in 2021, and successfully kept hold of them in an October 2022 rematch.
He entered into negotiations with WBC Champ, Fury, in December, but talks fizzled out this week leaving neither man with a fight date or clear opponent.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Joshua said it was all part and parcel of being a champion.
“It’s tough, man. I’m telling you, being a champion, it ain’t easy at all. As I said, look at Usyk – he ain’t even got a fight date, bro. He’s a champion of the world. I was the last guy he fought and I’m fighting on Saturday.
He’s a champion. He should’ve been out twice by now. Being a champion should mean that you’re busy, you’re out, you’re active, you’re fighting. But it’s a f***ing headache.”
🗣️ “BEING A CHAMPION AIN’T EASY”@AnthonyJoshua talks about @Tyson_Fury vs @Usykaa falling through, and is glad to see @EddieHearn not getting the blame 🤷🏻♂️
— Boxing Social (@boxing_social) March 27, 2023
‘AJ’s sentiments are indicative of the state of boxing in general. As more money is pumped into the sport and egos inflate, fights fall away.
He himself only stepped into the ring once a year for the last three years, and the last time he fought three times in twelve months was in 2016 before he was unified champion.
Usyk, in theory, has three mandatories ahead of him now – that is if the undisputed negotiations with Fury aren’t revisited. Fans will be lucky if two of those fights take place this year.
Meanwhile for ‘AJ’, his team have been adamant that he fights on three occasions before the end of 2023, which is already looking unlikely given this first one was initially targeted for February.
For any plan, realistic or otherwise, to be pursued, Joshua must beat Jermaine Franklin on Saturday night.