Johnny Nelson thinks Anthony Joshua can win his rematch with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk if he gets his tactics right and does not make the mistake that he did last time he fought him.
Nelson is one of the many people that believe that Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) must use his size and strength for him to beat Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in their rematch on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua tried last time to box Usyk but he was too slow, and musclebound to succeed with that approach. Although Joshua did make it close through the first eight rounds, Usyk pulled away in the championship rounds and swept the final four to get the win,
Joshua wants to duplicate the success he had three years ago when he avenged his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. to become a two-time heavyweight champion.
It’s going to be more difficult for Joshua to do that again because Usyk is going to be in good shape, and he’ll be ready for the new aggressive style that AJ employs for the fight.
In contrast, Ruiz looked like he’d been training at an all-you-can-eat buffet during camp, and he wasn’t ready for his rematch with Joshua.
“Usyk is a good, good fighter,” said Johnny Nelson to iFL TV. “But would the likes of Tyson Fury beat him? I believe so. Is it an impossible win for Anthony Joshua? No, it’s not.
“I think Usyk has got to earn his stripes and fight for that recognition and respect. He’s a good southpaw but an outstanding southpaw?” said Nelson in making it clear that he doesn’t believe Usyk is an outstanding fighter as a southpaw.
“I do give him chance,” Nelson said about Joshua. “People are writing him off. I’m like, ‘Why are you making that same mistake again? Look at the two of them when they came out [of their fight last September]. Usyk looked like he’d been hit by a truck.
“Anthony Joshua tried to box Usyk’s style of fight and he came up second best. He didn’t get stopped. He came off second-best. He didn’t take advantage of his size and his strength and the success that got him there.
“If he goes in with the same tactics again, he loses,” Nelson said about Joshua. “I don’t think he does. Anthony Joshua has it within in him to beat him. This is a much harder rematch than the Ruiz fight, but not an impossible task.
“I don’t think Usyk will be different. I just think Usyk will polish what got him the win in the first place. Why change something that’s not broken?
“My only concern is the familiarity. It might be down to respect of how he’s been brought up, familiarity, and the comfort that Joshua let Usyk feel in his presence at this stage. AJ has to have this man feeling uncomfortable around him,” said Nelson.