Former Cruiserweight champion, Johnny Nelson, seems far from impressed with Anthony Joshua’s approach to his much anticipated rematch with Oleksandr Usyk next month.
Like Usyk, Johnny Neslon was an outstanding Cruiserweight having held the WBO title from 1995 to 2005, making him the longest reigning Cruiserweight title holder of all time. ‘The Entertainer’ also set the division record for most successful world title defences with 13.
On August 20 in Saudi Arabia, Joshua has the chance to become a three-time heavyweight champ. He goes into the rematch looking to avenge his 2021 defeat to Usyk, and in doing so, take back possession of the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.
Boxing Social’s Ayman Khan caught up with Nelson about the upcoming fight in Jeddah and it was clear the fellow Brit wasn’t impressed with AJ’s current approach:
“What I took from it was, I was uncomfortable with the familiarity with AJ and Usyk.”
“If I’m honest with you I was uncomfortable with how comfortable AJ let Usyk feel, at this stage in boxing a lot of fights are won well and truly before you go in the ring.”
“These two are going to fight and when Usyk’s comfortable he boxes to the best of his ability.”
“I looked and I thought ‘no man – don’t let that man get comfortable around you, make him feel uncomfortable in your presence’.”
The Sky pundit went on to further question Joshua’s attitude during the first two press conferences:
“Make him feel uneasy – you know that to me that is the right attitude to have.”
“Usyk’s smiling and they’re happy taking selfies together. I’m like don’t do that man, you know this is business, be his friend afterwards.”
“The fight’s already started you know and you need to, excuse my french, cut that s**t out”
Nelson isn’t ruling out the Brit getting his hand raised next month, but says he needs to start playing ‘dirty’ and his team need to remind him of that:
“I understand where AJ is coming from because he’s a gentleman and wants to get on with the job itself.”
“This is this a rotten game at its worst and sometimes you got to play some dirty games – to me this is one of those occasions.”
“This was the first mistake I saw him do. It’s not an impossible task for AJ to win, what i’m saying is the fight has already started.”
“I just didn’t like it and his team need to remind him and say “cut that s**t out.”
“You want to make him [Usyk] think, s**t what’s going on here”