Former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price doesn’t believe Anthony Joshua can gain revenge in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
The Ukrainian, who is currently training in Poland after leaving his country’s fight against the Russian invasion, will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles this summer. Joshua lost the belts
last September when Usyk put on a commanding display of boxing to beat ‘AJ’ on points.
Although no date or venue has been announced yet the fight looks set to go ahead in July and the now retired Price gave his thoughts on the upcoming second bout to Boxing Social’s Andi Purewal.
“Joshua’s an Olympic style boxer, textbook boxer like I was. Unless you can bring some different to the table Usyk can anticipate what the textbook boxer is gonna do ten times over. He’ll deal with it easier than someone who does something a little bit different. So, I think unless Joshua changes something dramatically or lands a big shot and jump on him I just can’t see him beating Usyk.”
Price, like many, believes Joshua needs to revert back to the predatory, bulldog type fighter that brought the 2012 Olympic Gold medallist so much success before he ran into Andy Ruiz Jr.
“I think what AJ has done in both of his defeats is broken them down. He’s a deep thinker by the looks of it. He’s tried to find reasons why he lost.
Sometimes though you can overthink these things.
Sometimes it can be the simplest thing. For me just going back to the original type of fighter he was, the aggression, the power. His power’s unbelievable. I had him down to win the first fight because I thought once he lands, he won’t let Usyk off the hook, but he tried to out-box possibly the best boxer in the world in any division. Why he tried to that I don’t know.”
One foible that Joshua may be able to exploit is Usyk’s mindset going into this fight. Having spent time in Ukraine during the ongoing war and now having departed could have a dramatic effect on the champion. Can he shut out what is going on in his own country and prepare 100% for one of the
biggest fights of his career?
“The only time it’s going to be a problem for Usyk, from my own experience, is when he’s not in the gym,” said Price.
“When he’s in the gym that’s his escape from reality. Nothing else really matters. You’re not going to be hitting bags thinking of the war in Ukraine because he’s conditioned to focus on what he’s doing there and then in that gym.
“But when he’s had a shower, had some food and in his hotel, it’s going to be tough. It can be draining. Everyone knows if you’re worrying it drains your energy. It could work in AJ’s favour because he will be drained mentally and physically because of what’s going on. But at the same time, he’s probably going to use it as motivation to try and lift the spirits of the people of his country by defending his heavyweight titles, so he’s got a lot on his shoulders. It definitely makes it more interesting from a boxing standpoint.
Click here to watch the full interview.