Promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed that Anthony Joshua will be taking the rematch with Oleksander Usyk in early 2022 and he won’t be boxing him like he did last Saturday. The game plan for former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) is to “HURT” Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).
Eddie isn’t saying what the plan is for Joshua if he LOSES the rematch with Usyk. Will Joshua retire or eat the defeat and move on? Hopefully, Joshua doesn’t get stubborn and try for a third fight because that would be forlorn, watching him lose three times in a row.
Hearn seemed kind of worked up emotionally during an interview on Monday in discussing Joshua’s intent on getting “revenge” against Usyk. One can tell that Joshua’s humiliating loss to Usyk last Saturday, his second in his last four fights, affected Hearn as much as it did AJ.
Hearn believes that Joshua “got it wrong” with his decision to try and outbox Usyk rather than turning himself into a human torpedo and launching himself against the smaller, weaker, older fighter.
Joshua was trying to get to Usyk, but the talented Ukrainian’s mobility and defense were too good on the night. AJ’s slow feet and lack of coordination in comparison to Usyk made it impossible for him to land.
In the championship rounds, Joshua was totally gassed out, and unable to do much other than eating punches from Usyk.
Hearn: Joshua will HURT Usyk
“This rematch, whether you think AJ can win or not, I’m telling you, it will be entirely different and right him off at your peril,” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on Joshua being a different fighter in the rematch with Usyk.
“You’ll see a different Anthony Joshua in this fight, and that’s our excitement. The disappointment of defeat and now revenge.
“We’ve been here before, and now a three-time heavyweight world champion. That’s the new dream. He’ll do his work
“Now, I’m excited because that rematch is going to happen early next year, and if he does it, which I believe he can, he’s on a whole new level,” said Hearn about Joshua.
“This game plan is not box and move, this plan is to go in and hurt Usyk,’ said Hearn on what Joshua plans on doing in the rematch.
I don’t know if this is a good idea for Joshua to take the rematch with Usyk because it could end badly for him. Hearn just signed Joshua to a big contract. Maybe it’s better for Joshua to walk away and let Usyk own the victory rather than potentially wrecking his career by fighting the Ukrainian a second time.
Hearn is obviously counting on Joshua being able to avenge his loss to Usyk in the way that he did against Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019. This is a different story. Usyk isn’t going to pork out on food and wind up 300+ lbs like Ruiz.
He’s going to take training camp and his diet seriously, and he’ll come into the rematch with Joshua better than he was before. When that happens, he’ll likely beat AJ again, but this time by a knockout.