Anthony Joshua: I can out-box and out-strength Oleksandr Usyk
By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua insists that he can not only use his brute strength and 6’6″ size to defeat the smaller Oleksandr Usyk, but he can also “out-box” him this Saturday night when they meet in London.
The praise that Usyk has been receiving from boxing fans has resulted in Joshua having a HUGE chip on his shoulder, making him feel secondary in terms of his skill-set.
As such, Joshua has now made up his mind that he wants to out-box Usyk to show the fans that he’s a better fighter than him all around.
It’s a sign of insecurity on Joshua’s part that he wants to try and beat Usyk at his own game, but oh well, that’s his decision.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn says he wishes AJ just use his brute strength & size to run over Usyk like a Mack truck, but he doesn’t want to do that.
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) seems to have had a great training camp for him to be assuming that he’s going to beat the highly technical former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) in every facet of the game.
AJ will be defending his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight straps against the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.
Joshua is facing his first real test at heavyweight since his match against Wladimir Klitschko in 2017, and he could have lost that fight if the Ukrainian heavyweight had his late trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner.
Wladimir was a fish out of the water without Steward and not fighting the way he had when teamed up with the great trainer.
Joshua predicting a dominating win
“I can out-box him & out-strength him,” said Joshua to Sky Sports on his fight against Usyk.
“He has good stamina. So we workaround, not just losing weight, but rounds of sparring and rounds on the heavy bag to generate good stamina,” said Joshua.
Charles Brun wishes he’d been a fly on the wall during Joshua’s recent training camp because something has planted ideas into his head that he can walk on water now.
Joshua’s trainer must have brought in some easy marks for him to bat around the ring during camp for him to believe he’s going to outbox Usyk.
It seems like Joshua has set a personal goal for himself to try and prove that he’s a better boxer than Usyk rather than defending on his size & power advantage to win the fight.
From Joshua’s standpoint, he wants to be respected for having supreme boxing skills rather than being known as a guy who depends on his brute strength and size to win fights. Those assets disappear as a fighter age, as they become too slow to utilize them against the younger, faster heavyweights.
But if Joshua can show that he can outbox a fighter like Usyk, he’ll get respect from fans and possibly be able to fight into his 40s without getting dethroned by the younger lions.
It could be a mistake on Joshua’s part if he attempts to defeat Usyk by out-boxing him because he will be playing into his hands on Saturday night.
The mobility that we saw from Joshua in his recent fights against Kubrat Pulev and Andy Ruiz Jr. isn’t on the same level as a talent like Usyk, and Joshua is too huge to move around the ring like Usyk.
AJ will use his strengths
“You have to have a bit of aggression, boxing skill, head movement. There is not just one factor that determines a fight,” said Joshua.
“Obviously, we have our go-to – our strength. I will use my strengths.
“But it’s called a boxing match for a reason. I love the sweet science. I will display my boxing skills, but I won’t make it too complicated in there.”
“If it goes that far. The instinct and heart take over,” said Joshua.
AJ may have to use his ace in the hole if Usyk jumps out to an early lead on Saturday night by outboxing him. Once that happens, Joshua will likely admit that he’s not good enough to beat Usyk by boxing him. Joshua will then look to steamroll Usyk with his power and size.
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