Former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua should cut down on some of his muscle mass, according to another former champion and Olympic gold medal winner, Andre Ward.
Last September, Joshua was outboxed over twelve rounds by the smaller man, Oleksandr Usyk, who walked away with the IBF, WBO, IBF, WBA heavyweight titles.
During the final stages of the fight, Joshua appeared to be fatigued and unable to keep up with Usyk’s movements.
The rematch is scheduled to take place on August 20th in Saudi Arabia.
To prepare for the bout, Joshua has parted ways with longtime trainer Robert McCracken and retained the services of veteran coach Robert Garcia.
“Man I’ve been trying to tell Anthony Joshua for the past six or seven years – get the mass off. Then you’ll feel faster, you’ll want to throw more punches and you won’t hit that wall midway in the fight where that blood fills up in your muscles and you can’t get the shots off,” Ward told Max on Boxing.
“This is tough, I feel like Anthony Joshua is always this moving target, you know psychologically where is he at? Stylistically where is he at? Is he putting on more muscle mass, taking muscle off? All these variables sort of answer that question and we don’t have that answer.”
At one point there was talk of Ward jumping up to the heavyweight ranks to challenge Joshua for the world title, but the scenario never took off beyond conversation.
Ward last fought in 2017, when he stopped Sergey Kovalev in their rematch – and then he retired from the sport not long after.