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Anthony Joshua: “I’ll get admiration when I beat Oleksandr Usyk”

Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

By Jack Tiernan: Anthony Joshua wants the “admiration” and validation from fans after he beats IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to become a three-time world champion on August 20th in their rematch on DAZN PPV.

It bothers Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) that so many fans have abandoned ship after his recent upset loss to Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), and they don’t care that the defeat was the result of AJ choosing to fight his style.

It was an experiment for Joshua to see if he could beat the highly technical Usyk at his own game, and it almost worked. Joshua didn’t have enough conditioning to outbox Usyk in the later rounds.

In their rematch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Joshua has been transparent about what he plans on doing. He’s going to use his size & power to overrun Usyk, and he’s daring him to try and stop his plan.

“I feel that when I beat Oleksandr Usyk, I’ll get the credit I deserve again. And I’ll get the admiration for being a true boxing legend,” said Joshua to ESPN.

Even if boxing fans don’t wish to give Joshua credit for beating Usyk, it doesn’t matter. AJ will have his hand raised; he’ll hold the three titles and move on to face WBC champion Tyson Fury for the undisputed championship.

“I will address the weaknesses, and then I’ll make sure I get it right and become champion again. I think it’s a task that’s possible,” continued Joshua.

“Now, it’s all about, ‘oh, he’s not good enough anyway,’ so that’s the motivation to prove I’m good enough,” Joshua said. “‘Cause when you are doing it, and you’re on top, it’s hard to get the credit.”

It’s challenging to get credit when you’re as big as Joshua. As the saying goes, ‘Nobody roots for Goliath.’ You don’t get credit when you’re big and overpowering your opposition, as Joshua has done throughout your career.

Instead, fans pour praise over their heads when a ‘David’ comes along and defeats Goliath, as we saw with Usyk & Andy Ruiz Jr before him.

“It’s not easy because we don’t know how Usyk is going to fight,” said Joshua’s new trainer Robert Garcia when asked how difficult it is to find sparring partners to help AJ.

“He boxed well in the first fight, but I don’t know. He might try to be aggressive, and maybe he’s training to be aggressive because he probably thinks that’s what we’re going to do. So he’s probably learning how to fight on the inside also.

“We don’t know what to expect, so we’ve got to be ready for whatever. It’s not easy to find sparring partners that fight similar to Usyk, but we have to have multiple guys with different styles because we don’t know what Usyk will bring into the ring,” said Robert.

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