Anthony Joshua plans on making a statement against the decorated Oleksandr Usyk
Despite it being a very thrilling prizefight, the next fight for WBA Super, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-1, 22 KO’s) must be somewhat of a buzzkill. Had the winds of fortune blown his way he would have fought WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for undisputed in the most lucrative bout in boxing history. Instead he will defend his title against former undisputed cruiserweight champion and his WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KO’s).
Of course, the dustup with Usyk, who is ranked #1 (WBO), #2 (WBA) and #3 (IBF), is meaningful and will be one difficult affair. Yet given the step down in stakes and payday, it still must sting a bit. AJ spoke on the matter during an exclusive with Sky Sports. Being the person that he is however, the traditionally genial Joshua is taking everything in stride and maintaining a good disposition.
“Well I would have loved to have boxed for the undisputed championship of the world because I knew it was a fight for the public, you know what I mean?! It’s like, that was a big fight man. We had everything set up and ready and I’ve got to move forward.”
“You can’t keep on dwelling on it. I just hope people see that I am keen, I’m willing, that’s it, I just want people to just respect me while I’m boxing and understand that I want to bring entertainment to their tv screen and their eyes and make them witness that the British scene is alive and the heavyweight division is thriving in the UK.”
SOMETHING TO FIGHT FOR
Just because Anthony Joshua is being mild mannered about the situation outside the ring doesn’t mean he will be cuddly in the squared-circle. Regardless of who his next foe is, Joshua has goals that require him to keep winning. Seeking to be true to himself, and his ambitions, the unified champion is acutely focused on toppling the skillful southpaw Ukrainian in style.
“I rate all my opponents. He’s good, and that’s all I can really say, but it’s all about the final bell and whose hands are raised at the end. And that will prove who is the best, but he is good but I need to be better…it’s all about statement performances.”
“Like, it’s weird because I like being normal, I like being around the shops, I like just chilling about around the local parks and stuff like that, but at the same time it’s weird because when I step into that ring, no matter how much chilling I do in my local area and mixing with people and being a nice guy and opening doors, it’s all about winning.”
EVERYTHING ON THE LINE
This will be the third fight for Oleksandr Usyk as a heavyweight and he seems to have nicely settled into the division. There is a widespread belief that Usyk will be able to use his hand speed and nimble feet to bedevil Joshua en route to a clear points victory. If Joshua is not prepared, or mentally preoccupied, there is no question that the Ukrainian could walk away with AJ’s trio of recognized trinkets. Thankfully, regardless of the victor or outcome, 3kingsboxing will be there to report the news.
“When I am in that ring it’s all about winning, so it’s all about the final performances. It’s about training in the right fashion so I can go in there and look good because that adds stock to your value.”
By: Bakari Simpson