Arriving in Jeddah one month before his fight on August 20 is a positive move by Anthony Joshua according to Sky pundit Johnny Nelson.
Joshua is nearing a crunch moment in his career when he faces Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch nearly a year on from their first encounter.
‘AJ’ is looking to become a three-time heavyweight champion and take back the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. To do so preparation has to be near perfect and touching down in Saudi Arabia four weeks early can be only to his benefit Nelson told Sky Sports.
“It’s a good sign. He wants to acclimatise, get used to the heat, get used to his environment, make it second nature, a second home for himself out there, which is a good sign.”
Nelson, a former WBO Cruiserweight champion, used Muhammad Ali’s most iconic fight to compare ‘The Greatest’ to Anthony Joshua and his own defining showdown.
“I remember when Ali did it when he was fighting George Foreman in the jungle, he was there for longer than he expected to be.
“I think, this one here, AJ has gone out there thinking he’s got to do it right. I’m sure he’s taken his team out, his sparring partners out there.
“It’s the best thing to do, just to get used to the heat. He’s got to do everything in his favour, and I like the thinking behind it.
“We can read into so many things, but it shows serious intentions, he’s out there on business, which is a must.”
In their first fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Joshua was almost out on his feet as Usyk tried to get the stoppage in the 12th round. Fortunately for the Brit the final bell saved him.
The aftermath led to long-time trainer Robert McCracken being released from his role and Robert Garcia taking his place.
Nelson says that the American will bring in a new mindset which is a must if Joshua is to bounce back from the poor performance first time round.
“He can’t go in there with the same attitude he had the first time around, or he loses – that’s simple. The mentality has got to be completely different. He’s got to go in there with completely positive and confident mentality.
“AJ understands how tough this fight is, he understands what’s at stake and if he doesn’t change anything why would he expect different results?”