Paulie Malignaggi has given some advice to former heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua.
Joshua returned to the win column back in April with a decision win over Jermaine Franklin in a lackluster performance. After the fight, it was revealed the plan was for Joshua to take another fight this summer and then face Deontay Wilder in December.
However, if Paulie Malignaggi was managing Joshua, he would advise him to just go straight for Wilder as he can’t risk losing to anyone before that big fight and payday.
“Joshua is kind of getting past it, not in terms of skills, I think Joshua still has the skills at this age, but I think in terms of the willingness to bite down and be in a tough fight. I saw Joshua trying to cruise past Franklin and just understanding that as long as you get a win, you remain relevant,” Malignaggi said to Betway.
“And it was sort of an approach that I had late in my career as well – If you can get a cheap win then you can remain relevant because your name is already so big so you’ll fall into a big money fight. It doesn’t matter how good you look because you’ll be able to get one or two more cash grabs. I saw Joshua with that same mentality where he didn’t want to risk looking tremendous, but he was just trying to do just enough to win without risking himself,” Malignaggi continued.
According to Paulie Malignaggi, he says the tuneup fights are often the riskiest as many fighters believe they don’t have to train as hard to win. But, the opponent is motivated as ever as that is their biggest fight of their career, which is why Malignaggi advises Joshua to just go straight for Wilder.
“I think go straight into Wilder because when you are put in these kinds of interim fights, you’re always at risk of getting beat when you have this kind of psychology. You get a guy who you’re supposed to beat, but on that night he’s extra motivated and he’s just fighting much harder. He might out hustle you, or hurt you. In the heavyweight division everybody’s a big puncher,” Malignaggi said. “I don’t think AJ can mentally straighten things out at this point because once it’s past you – you’re comfortable and you’re good – I don’t think you can go back into that ferocious mindset because that mindset itself is fed by hunger – the desire to have more and be more – and I think AJ has already done so much I don’t think he’s looking to chase that anymore.”
Do you agree with Paulie Malignaggi?