Promoter Lou DiBella, who works with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), was less than impressed with how Anthony Joshua performed last Saturday night.
Before a crowd of nearly 80,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) went the distance for the first time in his career as he won a twelve round unanimous decision over Joseph Parker to unify the WBO, IBO, WBA, IBF world titles.
Now Wilder remains as the only fighter in Joshua's path to becoming the undisputed champion of the weight class.
There were many who felt the Joshua vs. Parker contest was lacking fireworks and any real motivation to engage from either boxer.
DiBella felt Joshua took several shortcuts in the fight, including a moment where he was toying with the tape on his gloves and motioned to the referee to call a timeout period - which shockingly the referee called to heavy criticism.
"Even though [Joshua] clearly won the fight, I saw a guy that clearly didn’t want to take a risk. I saw a guy who didn’t want to engage," DiBella said to Sirius XM's Boxing Radio Show, according to The Express.
"Parker has a decent jab and is a good fighter, better boxer than a lot of people thought but not a huge puncher. I didn’t see Anthony Joshua taking any chances in that fight at all. And in fact, I saw Anthony Joshua get buzzed by Joseph Parker and then pull his own tape off his glove to create his own timeout, and I gotta be honest with you, that made me lose a little bit of respect.”
DiBella believes Joshua's handlers are afraid of matching their boxer with Wilder - and he feels that frame of thinking has rubbed off on Joshua himself.
“I think when everyone around you is afraid, it’s gonna make you think too," DiBella said .
"Do I think he’s afraid? Justifiably. I gotta be honest with you – I saw a lot of stuff in that Parker fight that I think a lot of other people saw, particularly people on the other side of the pond and are hesitant to talk about."