Johnny Nelson believes that Anthony Joshua should retire from boxing if he loses to Jermaine Franklin on Saturday.
Joshua looks to bounce back from successive defeats to Oleksandr Usyk when he faces Franklin in a crunch heavyweight clash at the O2 Arena, live on DAZN.
The former two-time heavyweight world champion fights in a non-world title bout for the first time in seven years and former cruiserweight world champion, Nelson says the 33-year-old can ill afford a third straight defeat against the ‘989 Assassin’, who was edged out by Dillian Whyte in November.
“If Anthony Joshua loses, he jacks it in,” Nelson told Sky Sports.
“If he doesn’t jack it, he should jack it. Because it’s a hard mountain to climb.
“Especially when you’ve had the success and the heights that he’s had. So he can’t afford to lose. That’s a must.
“Then from that, it’s confidence building.
“We’ll see if he really thinks ‘you know what, I can eventually become world champion again, I’ll fix what I got wrong’.
“Because he’s only been boxing 10, 11 years as a professional fighter.
“So if he thinks he can fix what he think he got wrong in regards to why he’s not world champion, then there’s a reason to stick around still chase the guys that are there, one of them has beaten him twice.”
The Watford man based himself in Texas for this camp under the guidance of Derrick James, who replaced Robert Garcia after his split decision loss to Usyk in their rematch in Saudi Arabia in August.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn told Pro Boxing Fans on Monday that a fight with WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury is possible if ‘AJ’ overcomes the American, after ‘The Gypsy King’ saw a proposed undisputed clash with Usyk collapse.
Joshua was asked about Nelson’s comments by Pro Boxing Fans on Monday, insisting that he will retire when the time is right, naming Fury, Deontay Wilder and Joe Joyce as the fights he desires before calling it a day.
“All fights are career-defining,” he said.
“But, I’ll be real with you, I can dictate my own future.
“If I want to stop fighting I’ll stop fighting. If I want to continue I’ll continue.
“Win or lose, I can do whatever I want.”