On August 20 in Saudi Arabia, Oleksandr Usyk will face Anthony Joshua for the second time – with the Brit looking to avenge the defeat suffered last year and become a three-time heavyweight champion.
Most voices in the sport have commented that Joshua needs a complete overhaul of the tactics used in their first encounter. To the bemusement of most, ‘AJ’ tried to match Usyk’s superior boxing skills and never really imposed his natural strength and power advantages.
Whist speaking to Boxing Social, former Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch said Joshua needs a total change in mentality and implored him to be “more aggressive” in the rematch:
“Everyone’s already said it, but he’s the bigger stronger man so if he can he can use those attributes he can get the win.”
“The first thing he needs to do before he gets in that ring is get his head sorted out.”
“I don’t think he should have left Rob McCracken but this change might do him good because it might just reignite something and get him thinking differently – get him a little bit more aggressive.”
“He needs to get his head right and start to believe in himself, otherwise it’s going to go wrong for him.”
Another name calling for a more physical approach in Jeddah is Barry McGuigan, with the former featherweight king saying:
“He’s got the physicality to win it. He’s got to get his tactics right and apply those tactics.”
“In my mind just go and walk the guy down. Use a solid job, hit him hard to the body then lift your shots up as the fight goes on.”
“Just grind him down, walk him down, use your physical strength.”
“That’s the way he’s going to win the fight, nothing else.”
“It’s not that complicated.”
However, in an interview with IFL TV, the Ukrainian implied that he would be pleased if Joshua came to Saudi searching for the knockout.
When asked; ‘People are saying that Anthony Joshua can only win this fight one way, that is to stick the pressure on you and try and knock you out, do you believe that he will do that?”, Usyk replied:
“Let him hear the people more.”
With this somewhat cryptic response, is the Ukrainian hinting that a more aggressive Joshua will play into his hands on August 20th?