Roy Jones Jr. disappointed by Anthony Joshua’s tactics in loss to Usyk
By William Lloyd: Roy Jones Jr. was disappointed with the tactics that former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua used for his fight last Saturday against Oleksandr Usyk.
Jones says Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) lost the fight in the first round by starting too slow and being tactical against the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).
The game plan that Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken had for him was faulty from the start, and then he failed to make adjustments when AJ quickly fell behind in the first three rounds.
Roy feels that Joshua gave it away by not making Usyk adjust to what he was doing by fighting aggressively. Jones predicted ahead of the fight that if Joshua didn’t knock Usyk out within five rounds, he was going to lose the battle. That’s what happened, unfortunately for Joshua.
In the rematch, Jones Jr. wants Joshua to start faster and go after Usyk because he cannot afford to give away rounds by being passive like last time.
Joshua dominated rounds 4 to 7, says Jones
“They can’t doubt him. He [Joshua] dominated rounds four through seven, and he showed that he could dominate the fight at any time,” said Roy Jones Jr. to iFL TV about Anthony Joshua in his loss to Usyk.
“It’s just a matter of him deciding when he wants to dominate the fight.
“I knew he lost the first three rounds and then won the next three,” said Jones about AJ. “Round seven was even. It’s not.
“He [Joshua] dominated rounds four through seven, and he used his size. Usyk is stronger than they give him credit for.
“Usyk hurt Joshua in the second round because Joshua let him get a little too close. Usyk isn’t a top 10 puncher, but neither is Fury, and Fury is the top heavyweight in the world right now, so you don’t have to be a top 10 puncher.
“You got Fury, Usyk, Wilder, AJ, and probably Whyte,” said Roy when asked who he views as the top five heavyweights in the division.
Joshua may have done enough to edge Usyk in rounds four through seven, but it wasn’t the domination that Roy is talking about. Those were very close rounds that were decided by a few punches.
Roy wants Joshua to start faster in the rematch
“Start the fight early,” Jones Jr. said when asked what advice he has for Joshua in the rematch with Usyk. “Yeah, I was [disappointed with Joshua’s tactics against Usyk].
“I wanted to see Usyk have to figure him out. I wanted to see Usyk deal with his early onslaught and see who’s mind works later in the fight.
“Instead, you let Usyk go to work right away. If you’re going to do that, of course, he’s going to win.
“You’re letting him fight his fight. At least give him something to figure out. You didn’t give him something to figure out,” said Jones.
Joshua is going to at least attempt to start faster in the rematch with Usyk, but whether those efforts will be successful is another matter. Usyk was very good at avoiding Joshua when he would come forward last Saturday.
Joshua’s best success came when he would time Usyk when he was in and catching him with big punches.
Unfortunately, Joshua missed more often than he connected, and this resulted in Usyk tagging him with shots.
In the rematch, Joshua can try to apply more pressure from the beginning, but it might not be successful. For Joshua to land his shots, he’s got to time Usyk better and understand his movements.
The excellent news is Joshua has a lot of videos to study from last Saturday to learn Usyk’s tendencies.
Joshua’s trainer had the WRONG game plan
“No matter what those voices were saying [from Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken], the game plan was wrong from round one,” said Jones. “Round one was wrong.
“Whoever didn’t tell him how to do round one messed up the whole fight for him because after round one, he [Joshua] was already shook up because it didn’t go as expected.
“In round two, he [Joshua] got hurt. So in round three, he had to recover. In round four, he finally was able to implement some of the stuff you were saying, and he won rounds four, five, and six.
“Even with all those voices, they didn’t tell him right before the fight started.
“Somebody didn’t reach him before the fight started because where he lost the fight at was the pre-fight,” said Jones Jr. on what went wrong with Joshua.
“I’ve been watching Usyk for so long. That’s why I knew Usyk was going to win the fight. Usyk is intelligent enough to outthink anybody.
“I’ve watched him outthink and dominate the whole cruiserweight division. I’ve seen it with my whole eyes, so I knew that if Anthony let him get past round five, you can’t beat him.
“He’s too smart; he knows too much. His IQ is too big. By the end of round five, you can’t beat him because he’s a great boxer. I love his mind,” said Jones about Usyk.
Many boxing fans believe that Joshua’s trainer Rob McCracken was out of his depth in this fight and unable to come up with a good game plan for AJ to follow.
What was troubling was the lack of a concrete strategy for Joshua to get back into the fight once he fell behind early.
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