It has happened before and it damn well will happen again, if not this week, or this month, then next month.
Fighter A with a world-class résumé is slated to meet Fighter B, with a less glam résumé.
And because Fighter A has been rocking and rolling and has a crew surrounding him which hangs on his every word and whose employment, they believe, hinges on making the boss feel super heroic all the time, the A-side wizard gets cocky. Feels invincible. Cuts corners, and does one-and-a-half miles, when two years ago he did four.
He believes the hype, thinks the challenger is beneath him.
Karma kicks back, aaaand — the ego takes a tumble when the challenger uncorks a left hook from hell and Fighter A is smashed in the temple with the ugly reality that we are all mortal.
Lesson learned, the usual way, aka the hard way.
Never underestimate your foe, even if on paper you should be better in every way. Assume that on fight night, your challenger will channel the boxing Gods — Ali, Louis, Hammerin’ Hank — and fight to that level, for just one night.
Who here thinks maybe Anthony Joshua sees Andy Ruiz Jr and believes it will be easy work, because the Cali kid likes Snickers bars maybe a bit too much for his own good?
Joshua touches on the subject of complacency coming from being too cocky.
“It’s not about what you look like, it’s a craft, a skill, and what’s in your heart and your head matters in the end,” said Joshua. “Andy has shown he has all that, he can fight and box, that’s what matters. I think Andy is a great challenger and will bring it on June 1.
“All I’ve heard is ‘AJ will smash him in a round.’ From the outside they think that anyone can box, so how is the guy that doesn’t look like a fighter able to box? I always say that if you put 10 bodybuilders in the ring, not one of them could fight for a regional title in boxing.
“Take me out of my body but keep the same attributes and height, same jab, same chin, same heart and same mind, but I looked different — I’d still get to the same position I am in because it’s what is within you that makes a champion, your genetics, and his genetics are the same, and he took the fight!
“He’s keen, he’s game and you cannot knock him. He can fight and he’s got hands. He gave a world champion in Joseph Parker lots of problems, and when you look at the fight that Parker gave Whyte when people are saying Whyte can beat Wilder, Fury and me, Andy is championship level for sure, and I have not underestimated him one bit.”