Though a good many people feel defending WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua will be too big, too strong and, most of all, too powerful for Oleksandr Usyk, and think he will get the KO or stoppage win on September 25, Joshua himself is in no way relying on his big punch. To the contrary, AJ has explained to Sky Sports how he is “training like a 15 round fighter” for the upcoming fight; this to build his stamina for a long, testing night.
Joshua says he is, in Usyk, “100 percent” facing the trickiest opponent of his whole career. Joshua says concentration will be key in the fight, that and having the stamina to go all 12 rounds “without growing fatigued mentally.” Joshua also says he aims to be “trim” for this fight, this in an effort to avoid his muscles “screaming for oxygen.”
“I’m fighting a guy who is a 12 round fighter,” Joshua said of the former undisputed cruiserweight champ. “So it would be silly of me to go in there bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen. I’ve been training like a 15 round fighter in this camp. I will be well-conditioned to fight. That is key.”
Joshua says he is also “adapting to a southpaw,” and that he has brought in quality sparring partners who are able to make him “uncomfortable” during sessions. Usyk too is leaving no stone unturned in training and preparation, having brought in Vasiliy Lomachenko’s father. It really is a fascinating fight, and Joshua does seem to be anticipating a chess match type duel, not a slugfest or anything like it.
The critics says Usyk is too small to win, while Usyk supporters say the Ukrainian southpaw is too clever and too tricky for Joshua; a fighter who can run out of gas. Joshua is working hard to combat this threat, while Usyk is working hard to come up with the perfect game-plan. More than some other big fights, Joshua Vs. Usyk may well be one that is won in the gym.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for this one.