Anthony Joshua: “Usyk Is A Great Champ But I Don’t Fold Under Pressure”

Anthony Joshua Looking Forward To The Challenge Against Oleksandr Usyk

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua poses with his titles, former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk with his collection of belts
Anthony Joshua (left), Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua Looking Forward To The Challenge Against Oleksandr Usyk


Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is less than two weeks away from stepping back into the ring. On September 25, “AJ” puts the unified IBF/WBA ‘super’/WBO titles on the line against WBO mandatory challenger and former undisputed world cruiserweight champ Olexander Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs).

It’s the most unique test of Joshua’s career. Usyk is a southpaw renowned for his boxing skills, mobility, and high ring IQ. His accomplishments are impressive for sure. The 34-year-old from Shypyntsi, Ukraine is ranked higher (#6) than the defending champ (#8) in the 3KingsBoxing Top Ten Rankings. There are pundits who believe the talented southpaw has an excellent chance of pulling off what would be considered an upset.

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Given that backdrop, Joshua feels his approach to this fight must be different. While acknowledging he’s facing a fighter who is smaller, it’s not a matter of size. If anything, it’s about overcoming someone with a style he’s never faced before. He talked about what he must do during an interview with Sky Sports Boxing.

NEVER SHY AWAY FROM THE MOMENT

“In my mind, I’ve removed the conversation about this is the heavyweight and he’s a cruiserweight. I get that, but I like to challenge myself. So, let’s remove that out of the way, and let’s look at where I’m at skill-wise, technical-wise because I got what I already have, the strength I have since coming into boxing in 2008.”

The 31-year-old from Watford, England says the success throughout his career is due to his mental fortitude, heart, and willingness to take on the tough competition early and often. That continues with his upcoming fight.

“With Usyk, it’s another great, great champion, great, a great fighter and I don’t fold under pressure. This is fun, this is a deep practice. So, when I get into the ring on September 25, this is time to practice everything I know.

So, I’m rather experienced now, and you have to go through a lot of trials and tribulations. I want to fight the Usyk’s, I want to fight the champions because that’s where you find out how strong you are. So for me, it’s like ‘bring it on’. I cherish that. I’m not asking for strength and then just want it easy.”

It’s expected that Joshua will not have an easy time when he faces Oleksandr Usyk in front of a packed crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. It will be interesting how he copes with the tools that the challenger will bring to the table. However, for “AJ”, the greater the challenge, the better.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Michael Wilson 758 Articles
Michael is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a writer/contributor for 3kingsboxing.com.