Heavyweights Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua met in London today ahead of their fight on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, writes Declan Taylor
ANTHONY JOSHUA is adamant he will not ‘make the same mistake twice’ against the man he described as a southpaw nightmare, Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua will face the Ukrainian in their long-awaited rematch on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 11 months after Usyk beat him via a unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
He is the clear underdog to win the rematch against the second-rated heavyweight in the world as a result of the nature of his first defeat.
But Joshua said: “It’s a rough and tough sport, especially fighting these lefties, they’re a nightmare.
“But you have to dig in, tuck up and not make the same mistake twice, basically.
“Twelve rounds in the bank is good, good footage to watch but every fight is different; until you’re in there in front of someone, no matter how many videos you watch, it’s completely different. What happened then is in the past, I don’t really live in the past, I live in the present.
“I’m looking forward to competing round by round. If I follow my A, B, C it should lead to KO.”
Since that night at Wembley, Joshua travelled to America in search of fresh training impetus, split with Rob McCracken and brought Robert Garcia into the team alongside Angel Fernandez.
Joshua, 32, said: “Robert Garcia is a good man. Straight after the fight I spent time in America and it’s something I should’ve done earlier in my career. I was in Sheffield from 2011, I’ve been up there ever since so branching out has been different. Shout out to Rob McCracken and everyone up there, I respect him and our achievements.
“Someone said to me today, you’ve got a chance to become a three-time heavyweight champion. It’s not where you want to be, you want to stay there and Keep it.
“There has been too much talking, and I want just action. Let me get in there and do my job, I’m not a comedian or someone who writes speeches. But how I perform will speak volumes to the masses.”
Usyk, the current holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, sat alongside Alex Krassyuk and Egis Klimas on the top table at the Four Seasons hotel on Park Lane, London, spoke little.
But the 35-year-old, who left the war in his native Ukraine in order to train in Poland, explained his decision to fight.
“I’m not fighting for money or for the recognition,” Usyk said. “Many people want recognition, to be remembered, but I don’t need this. I don’t want to become the great. I’m just doing my job now and I’ll continue doing it until my heart stops beating.
“The only thing I am on my way is to save my soul. But everything else that’s happening to me is just life.”