You cannot really be too harsh on a fighter if, upon heading into a rematch with a guy who previously defeated him, he tells himself just about anything in an effort to build his confidence. And when listening to what former two-time heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua has had to say about his wide decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk, it seems AJ is indeed talking away the defeat while at the same time attempting to convince himself that he lost the fight last year, that Usyk didn’t win it.
How else to explain Joshua’s simply bizarre comments, where he defiantly says he would have “smoked” Usyk “if he wasn’t a lefty?” Yes, Joshua, in speaking with the Daily Mail, said he would have knocked Usyk out if he wasn’t a southpaw and – get this – his objective “was never to hurt him.”
Joshua blames his tactics of trying to box the boxer for his downfall, and he says he will use his size and power this time; although he admits that doing so is “easier said than done.”
“It sounds crazy but I’m not going to lie. My objective was never to hurt him, to land damaging punches,” Joshua said of the first Usyk fight. “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 mind-set, that of wanting to go in there and smash him. Using my size and power this time is evident, isn’t it? But to work on it is easier said than done. I need adjustments to deal with a southpaw because to me these lefties are a nightmare. I swear that if Oleksandr wasn’t a lefty I would have smoked him. One hundred percent.”
So, what, fellow fight fan, do you make of that?
Joshua must realise that Usyk will again be a lefty in this fight, that he will still be a “nightmare” to deal with. So what makes AJ think he would have “100 percent smashed him” but for his stance? Did Joshua’s September 2021 game plan really consist of points scoring but never of trying to hurt the other guy? Is Joshua delusional at this point? Joshua did get the tactical approach wrong in the first fight, for sure, but can he improve this time? What if Usyk switches and becomes the puncher this time? What if Joshua does look for the damaging blows this time but he cannot get them home? Was it really Usyk’s stance that won him the first fight?
I don’t know about you, but I feel Usyk is simply too good in all departments aside from raw power, and that he will again use his superior boxing brain to defeat Joshua a second time. And again, what if the bulked up Usyk IS a bigger puncher himself this time? If he is, Usyk’s stance will be the least of it.
Prediction: Usyk beats Joshua in commanding fashion, stopping him in eight rounds.