Anthony Joshua jokes he might fight for next 20 years
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Eddie Hearn has warned there will be scary moments for world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua when he takes on Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night – but still fancies the Brit to knock his opponent out. His WBA, WBA and IBF world titles will be on the line against the Ukrainian.
Joshua has not fought since his ninth round knockout win over Kubrat Pulev in December 2020.
He has slimmed down as a leaner frame allows for greater speed, which ‘AJ’ has clearly chosen as his weapon of choice.
There were comments from Usyk’s camp that Joshua’s new figure benefits the Ukrainian, but Hearn dismissed such suggestions and backs his client to win via knockout.
“Joshua has the bigger reach, he does punch harder and he’s fast as well,” Hearn told Good Morning Britain.
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“Usyk’s going to be using his feet to try and manoeuvre around him.
“I think the first three or four rounds are going to be quite cagey but I want to see Anthony put a dent in Usyk early in this fight anywhere – the body, the shoulders, the side of the head, just lay leather on him and show him your speed and power.
“I believe Anthony Joshua will win this fight by knockout.
“I think there’s going to be some scary moments. I think we could get another Klitschko-style fight here on Saturday night.
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“It’s the best versus the best, the unified heavyweight world champion against the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
“It’s a tremendous matchup and we’ve got everything crossed for AJ on Saturday.”
Former undisputed cruiserweight world champion Usyk is well-supported and many believe he can upset Joshua this weekend.
Tony Bellew was knocked out by Usyk at the Manchester Arena in 2018 and he believes the Ukrainian will be the best boxer ‘AJ’ has ever faced.
Joshua has been sparring with amateurs in order to imitate his opponent’s style, but Usyk believes such fighters will have struggled to replicate his directness and speed.
The Ukrainian said: “I believe it has been extremely difficult for him to get any sparring or sparring partners to help him prepare for me.”
Joshua clashes with Usyk in their world heavyweight title bout tomorrow night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium while bitter rival Tyson Fury defends his WBC title against Deontay Wilder in the third instalment of their grudge trilogy on October 9.
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