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Anthony Joshua: “My power will not fade,” ready to knock out Oleksandr Usyk

Image: Anthony Joshua: "My power will not fade," ready to knock out Oleksandr Usyk

By Barry Holbrook: Anthony Joshua feels confident that he won’t gas out and lose his punching power in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) insists that he’ll be punching with full strength throughout the contest against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia.

Some boxing fans feel that Joshua, 32, will fade quickly at the expected fast pace of the fight. He’s talking about being more aggressive, and for Joshua to do that, he’ll need to perform at a faster pace than last time.

The question is, can Joshua fight hard without gassing immediately on Saturday night?

It would be a terrible mistake on Joshua’s part if he empties his gas tank in the first two rounds and winds up getting pummeled by the better-conditioned Usyk.

“That’s a lot of weight. I can’t tell you why he’s done it,” said Anthony Joshua to iFL TV about Oleksandr Usyk having supposedly gained 15 kilos.

“If I was to put on 15 kg, the reason why is I feel that I’m not big enough at a certain weight. Heavyweight being unlimited in the weight you can put on, he’s decided to put on more weight. That’s the reason I would do it,”  said Joshua.

Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk said that he doesn’t believe his weight will be much higher than the 221 lbs he came into the first fight with Joshua.

“The second reason I feel I can punch harder if I add this weight on,” said Joshua. “I feel I’ll be able to maneuver guys around a bit better because when I last fought at heavyweight, I wasn’t strong enough. The reasons are endless, but only he can answer those questions.

“That’s true. It normally happens,” said Joshua when told that Usyk’s team said he didn’t intentionally put on 15 kg. “You don’t spend a lot of time in the weight room. Whatever training you do, your body adapts to it. So, it’s probably naturally happening.

“I believe I’m ready, and I believe I’m well conditioned enough to do it,” said Joshua when asked if he thinks he’ll knock out Usyk on Saturday. “I believe my power will not fade.

“I’m ready to compete and make a tough fight. I don’t want to predict, but I’m just saying I’m ready,” said Joshua.

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