Deontay Wilder was doomed from the outset of his heavyweight trilogy fight with Tyson Fury due to his jab-heavy approach to the contest, Anthony Joshua has claimed.
The Bronze Bomber vowed to change his tactics ahead of his third fight with Fury last month and impressed early on by landing several heavy jabs to the Gypsy King’s midriff in an attempt to slow his bigger opponent down.
However, Wilder quickly fatigued and the former champion was fighting on instinct before being felled by Fury in a vicious 11th-round knockout.
Joshua – who is seeking to reclaim his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts from Oleksandr Usyk – says that Wilder lacks the fighting intelligence to carry out such a technical plan.
“He tried, but to get that power and that ferociousness, you have to have it up here [points to his head],’ AJ said during a JD Sports round table.
Before you have it just here [clenches fists] at that level, you have to have it here [points to his head] as well.”
The likes of Wladimir Klitschko ruled the division for years with an effective jab followed by a straight right hand, but Joshua believes you need more than a jab to conquer the current leading heavyweights.
“Not in this day and age [can heavyweights jab for 12 rounds] because heavyweights are different.
“I met the guy who makes gloves the other day, and he said that they never used to have to make special gloves. But now heavyweights are 17 to 19 stone and six-foot ten. The whole division is changed in the last, like, five years.
“And before, fighters could jab like that for 12 rounds and get away with it. They’d get a bit tired, but they were conditioned because they were lighter.
“But now, when you’ve got big guys [who are] six-foot-seven, they get tired.’
Joshua is still reeling from his September loss to Usyk, in which fans also questioned his choice of tactics against the wily Ukrainian southpaw when he tried to out-box his technically superior opponent.
AJ has vowed to adopt the same thrilling style that saw him defeat Klitschko back in 2017 in order to avenge his second career defeat.
He said: ‘I’m gonna bring that energy back. But I’m not gonna go into my training and all that.’