Anthony Joshua said this fight is his “second chance” for him in his rematch with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on August 20th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Some fighters don’t get another opportunity after a loss, and some don’t want it, but Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) is being given one against Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in a must-win fight.
The 32-year-old Joshua’s one-sided defeat against Usyk last September in London was his second loss in his last four fights and a sign that things are not well with the former #1 heavyweight in the sport.
Joshua now has a new coach in Robert Garcia, and a brand spanking new approach to his second fight with the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk.
“One thing you’ve always been good at is adapting, learning, and putting together a game plan and following that game plan. You did that so well in the Andy Ruiz rematch as well,” said Eddie Hearn during Tuesday’s kickoff press conference, talking to Joshua.
“Going into the Usyk fight, there’s confusion, the wizardry of Usyk, and the unknowns of facing this guy. Now that you’ve gone 12 rounds with him, do you think that’s going to help you going into the rematch as well because I felt going into that first fight, there were a lot of unknowns about his ability, the southpaw stance, his movement?
“You’ve experienced that and you’ve also seen how good it is, but it’s going to help you understand what you need to do to regain those belts,” said Hearn to Joshua.
“Yeah, for sure. We have to give him and his team credit where credit is due,” said Joshua. “I’m not a hater. I respect him and his craft and what he’s achieved. That should only motivate me to want to get better.
“If I’m around someone that is better than me on the night, and better than me in certain aspects, I have to motivate myself and push myself to be better than them. That’s all it’s done really,” Joshua continued.
“The great thing is, I’ve got a second chance. What got me into boxing in the first place is that when I was a youngster, I got into a little bit of trouble every now and then and I was blessed with a second chance. I found boxing and I took it with both hands.
“If you know me and my story, you’ll know I’m the comeback king. You can put me down, but it’s difficult to keep me down because I always keep my spirits high. Even in my tough times, I know that everything will make sense in the long run.
“So, we keep moving forward, and good luck to him because I wish him well. On August 20th, I really want to entertain everyone that’s coming,” said Joshua.