Boxing fans reacted with a barrage of ridicule after British champion Anthony Joshua was exposed as a playable character in the video game FIFA 21, including fans citing the unmistakable insult of his leading rival Tyson Fury.
FIFA aficionados and boxing bigmouths have quickly dealt a blow to EA Sports’ decision to give Joshua a new role in the hit game’s new installment in which he’ll be available in a shirt with his familiar personal branding.
Prior to Joshua’s planned defense of his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO titles against Kubrat Pulev in December in a fight that could take place behind closed doors, some cynics used the marketing match to shoot at his record and Ringcraft.
“He can run well,” said a supporter of Alex Povetkin, the Russian heavyweight who knocked Joshua out of the tournament in 2018 before destroying the Londoner’s other rival, Dillian Whyte, with a shuddering overcut when they met last month .
“Right in his alley,” they added, referring to Joshua’s seemingly slow training material and cautious performance in regaining his titles by avenging his first career loss when he defeated Andy Ruiz Jr. on points in December .
Joshua’s place on the illustrious list of “Groundbreakers” in the game, to which the boxer belongs alongside DJ Diplo as one of only two non-footballers, left many unimpressed.
“The big stiff plays soccer?” one interviewee asked, repeating the description of Tyson Fury, Joshua’s British rival and holder of the WBC belt, as “great stiff idiots” like his compatriot.
The two-time world champion Olympic champion is a trash boxer?
– Day (@DyaLikeDags_) September 24, 2020
So EA has the license for AJ but uses it in a UFC game and a soccer game.
– Gary Young (@ Garyy2468) September 24, 2020
Fury has repeatedly claimed that Joshua, who he could face in two “megafights” in 2021 if they both win their scheduled bouts later that year, lacks the mobility and boxing skills to beat him.
Others asked why game makers shouldn’t be making a boxing game with Joshua just yet, and insisted that the makers focus on improving their designs rather than creating a resemblance to the 30-year-old.
“Why the hell?” demanded one. “In today’s world, anything with money is acceptable.
Tyson Fury will show him as a punching bag
– Crazy Genius (@ CrazyGe76952658) September 24, 2020
His team makes a matzah. He’s in every game and every commercial right now.
– ST (@ s2mey), September 24, 2020
“It has nothing to do with football and is probably junk in it, just like in boxing.”
Joshua has previously appeared in an EA title that is a little closer to his chosen discipline.
He is available for UFC 4, where the description of his skills is a little more generous than that of his critics.
“He is from Great Britain and has quickly established himself as one of the dominant finishers in boxing,” said EA of his record, noting his “heavy hands” and “calculating and confident” style.
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