Anthony Joshua: ‘I want to smash Oleksandr Usyk’
The British boxer is willing to prove that he can make the necessary adjustments to defeat Usyk in their rematch, as he already did vs. Andy Ruiz Jr.
Boxing fans are counting the days for one of the biggest fights of 2022, the rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk, which will take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this Saturday.
The Briton has a big challenge ahead against the Ukrainian boxing icon. While most experts suggested that Joshua not take the rematch immediately, AJ decided to take it the hard way and go for a second fight against a boxer that dominated him in their first encounter with great footwork and boxing skills.
Joshua is confident ahead of the Usyk rematch
Despite losing by unanimous decision last September, Joshua is confident he can bounce back against the former undefeated cruiserweight king and now heavyweight champion Usyk.
“I wanted to outbox my opponent, whether it was Usyk or anyone else, that was the mindset [in the first fight]. I wanted to outbox my opponent and on Saturday I want to smash my opponent”, he told Sky Sports News.
The two-time former unified world heavyweight champion is aware that he needs to change his strategy this time, as Usyk figured him out in their first clash in London.
Moreover, Joshua is facing another aspect that could play a crucial role: this time Usyk has the added incentive of fighting for Ukraine, due to the war that his country continues to suffer at the hands of Russia.
A more powerful Joshua vs. Usyk
Joshua seems to want to go back to his original fighting style, when his power made the difference early in his boxing career.
“I was amateur for three and a half years and I did a lot in that time and I asked myself ‘how’? It wasn’t down to the skill element, because I was outclassed in terms of skill and experience by a lot of my competitors on the world scene, but that aggression”, he admitted.
Joshua, who hired Robert García as a new coach for the rematch, added that “I was focusing more on different things in my career, for example having a better jab, hitting and not getting hit. You’ve got to focus on that aggressive aspect”.
Truth is, this is an almost ‘do-or-die’ fight for Joshua. If he wins, he will make history and become a heavyweight champion for the third time, only surpassed by Evander Holyfield, who held heavyweight in this division four different times. If he loses, critics will likely be more fierce, and he will have to earn his way back to championship fights.