Anthony Joshua: I’m not sure which shot it’ll be to KO Oleksandr Usyk
By Barry Holbrook: Anthony Joshua is confident he’ll knock out challenger Oleksandr Usyk when he defends his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles on September 25th at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
The one thing that Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) isn’t sure about is which punch he’ll use to knock out the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) next month.
In Joshua’s last fight in December against former world challenger Kubrat Pulev, he used uppercuts to stop him in the ninth round. Joshua dropped the 40-year-old Bulgarian Pulev three times in the fight, once in the third and twice more in the ninth to get the knockout.
Against the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk, Joshua might need to show more variety in his offense because he’s not someone that he can use the same punch repeatedly without him catching on and preventing those shots from landing.
Also, Usyk is a lot younger than Pulev, and he’s got more facets to his game that could potentially give Joshua problems on September 25th.
Joshua not underestimating Usyk
“I was watching Holyfield and [James] ‘Quick’] Tillis today, and he [Tillis] was saying he was going to come and bring war and if he wins he’s going to come and fight [Mike] Tyson and rematch him, and he lost in I think the fifth round,” said Joshua to Sky Sports in reacting to David Haye predicting that he’ll KO Usyk with a jab.
“So it shows that what I say and what people say doesn’t really matter when you’re in the ring,” said Joshua.
“I respect it, and everyone is entitled [to their opinion], and that’s why I say one of these days I’m going to be that guy on the sidelines.
“But as for now, I wish Usyk a great camp, and I wish his team well, safe travels. The same with my team.
“The main thing, we keep boxing alive and get in there and put on a good fight, and that’s what we’re here to do and what I’m here to do. He’s [Usyk] here to do the same,” Joshua said.
Joshua using former journeyman James ‘Quick’ Tillis as an example of why predictions often fail is not exactly a good one to compare to what he’s up against in facing Usyk.
Tillis had 14 losses going into his fight with Evander Holyfield in July 1988, so it made little sense for him to be talking about winning that fight and getting a rematch with Mike Tyson.
Of course, Holyfield was going to beat Tillis because the Oklahoma native was shot to bits by that point in his career, and he was never in Evander’s league in the first place.
AJ counting on stopping Oleksandr
“I’m not sure how it’s going to end,” Joshua said. “I’m not sure if it’s going to be a jab or an uppercut.
“I don’t know what shot it’s going to be, but I just want to come out and put on a good show for the people that are coming to watch.
“When I fight good fighters, I study them, and I get to learn a lot about their training camps. So from fighting Dillian [Whyte] and when I fought Ruiz, I learned from that fight.
“The Klitschkos of the world and now Usyks of the world, and Joseph Parker, when he was a champion, and from the Olympics and World Championships.
“I’ve studied a lot, so I’ve learned to condition my body for certain fights. I’m looking trim for this fight, and I’m fighting a guy that is a 12 round fighter. It would be silly for me to go in there bulky.
“It still baffles me what’s going on in this boxing industry and how I’m a part of this amazing experience,’ said Joshua.
“I’m standing here in this Tottenham Stadium, and we’ve got it to ourselves. It’s mad.
“In four or five weeks, there’s not going to be an empty seat in here. It’s going to be wild. I just pray I get this W.
“That’s the most important thing. I really want to win,” said Joshua about his upcoming fight next month against Usyk.
Joshua should forget about thinking knockout against Usyk and focus more on just getting a decision.
If Joshua tries to score a knockout in this fight, he could leave himself open for a hard left hand from Usyk that puts him down.
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