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Joshua says he didn’t want to “hurt” Usyk in first fight

Image: Joshua says he didn't want to "hurt" Usyk in first fight

By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua claims that his intent wasn’t to “hurt” Oleksandr Usyk last September when the two fought in London.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) says he wanted to show that he could go 12 rounds and box as well as the 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).

The question is, why did it take Joshua eleven months to reveal that he wasn’t trying to hurt Usyk? By waiting until now, it just makes Joshua sound like someone that is making excuses to his fans so they’ll be more likely to purchase his rematch with Usyk on DAZN PPV.

What we saw in the first two rounds was an aggressive Joshua, who was loading up on each shot, trying to take Usyk out.

The thing that changed Joshua’s plans was when Usyk staggered him with a hard left hand in the second round. After getting a taste of Usyk’s power, Joshua opted to play it safe, boxing and avoiding getting hit by the stinging shots from the talented Ukrainian.

“I do want to do him harm this time, despite all my respect for what he has done in the war in Ukraine,” Joshua said to the Daily Mail about his rematch with Usyk.

“I do know that if I use my elements of height and strength, I will have a better chance of winning.”

Hopefully, Joshua doesn’t come up with a different excuse if things don’t work out for him on Saturday in his rematch with Usyk at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia.

If Joshua loses this time, it would be better for him to admit that he was beaten by the superior fighter. Fans don’t want to hear a boxer making excuses after they lose.

“It sounds crazy, but I’m not going to lie. My objective was never to hurt him, to land damaging punches,” Joshua said.

“My aim was to go the full 12 rounds and prove I could box as well as he does, to land scoring punches.

“But I didn’t work hard enough to prepare for a 12 round fight at that pace. I wasn’t in the right mindset,” said Joshua.

It didn’t matter how hard Joshua trained in preparation for the Usyk fight, he was always going to gas out because he was carrying too much muscle mass.

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