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Oleksandr Usyk NOT worried if Anthony Joshua is more aggressive in rematch

Image: Oleksandr Usyk NOT worried if Anthony Joshua is more aggressive in rematch

By Jack Tiernan: Oleksandr Usyk says he fully expects Anthony Joshua to fight differently in the rematch, being more aggressive to try and win back his lost IBF, WBA & WBO heavyweight titles next April.

Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) says he’ll be ready for whatever style and approach the 32-year-old Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) brings to the table for their second fight. Joshua is working with a new coach from the United States, Anthony ‘Chill’ Wilson, who has him focusing on throwing to the body.

With Joshua’s eight-year professional career on the line for the rematch, he’s expected to pull out the stops to use ANY means necessary to get the win.

Joshua is desperate at this point, and you can argue that his promoter Eddie Hearn is feeling that same separation, knowing that AJ’s dynasty could end if his fighter loses.

So instead of the nice Joshua that boxing fans saw last September in his first fight against Usyk, we’re likely going to see a mean one in the rematch with AJ throwing the Marquees of Queensbury rules out the window.

Image: Oleksandr Usyk NOT worried if Anthony Joshua is more aggressive in rematch

The body punching is expected to be emphasized by Joshua in the rematch with Usyk and possibly roughhouse tactics. It’s believed that Joshua will lean on Usyk, shove him around the ring, hit him with low blows & rabbit punches to gain an edge.

Usyk expects Joshua to change his approach

In other words, Joshua will use a slash and burn approach to winning the fight, just as we saw in Tyson Fury’s last two contests with Deontay Wilder.

If I get those four belts, it will be a very loud statement from me,” said Oleksandr Usyk to Forbes when asked what it would mean to him to become undisputed heavyweight champion by beating WBC champion Tyson Fury.

“I’m not worried if Joshua is ready to fight. Oleksandr is ready for any kind of fight,” Usyk said when told that Joshua is forgetting about the sweet science and will likely be focusing on getting knockouts from this point forward.

Of course, he’s going to change everything. Everything will be new,” Usyk said of Joshua likely changing his style for the rematch.

Last September, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk shocked the boxing world by outboxing the much bigger and stronger Joshua, winning a reasonably one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in front of AJ’s own British fans at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England.

Joshua wasn’t supposed to lose to Usyk, as the Ukrainian had struggled to defeat British journeyman slugger Dereck Chisora in October 2020. Indeed, some boxing fans believed that the past his best 36-year-old Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) deserved the win in that fight against Oleksandr.

For that reason, many people counted out Usyk going into his fight with Joshua on September 25th, believing the match to be a cakewalk for the powerful 6’6″ fighter.

Oleksandr surprised by Joshua’s spaced out appearance

I was more surprised because he was kind of distracted, chewing on the mouthguard like he was,” said Usyk on how spaced out Joshua looked before their previous fight on September 25th. “That’s why I thought it was strange,” said Usyk about what he noticed about Joshua last time.

Joshua is one of those types of fighters that overthinks things and worries himself into a state of being helpless. He did that in both of his career defeats, and to some extent, Joshua was a mental wreck before his fight with Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.

For the rematch with Usyk, Joshua might be angry because he was humiliated the last time they fought, so that he may be different.

You can bet that whoever Joshua’s trainer is, they’ll have him worked up emotionally into a stage of rage by the time the fight starts. Joshua might need to be in that kind of mental state for him to have a chance of defeating Usyk.


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