Oleksandr Usyk expects to repeat the script and score a win when he takes on Anthony Joshua in a rematch, but he doesn’t expect to beat the same version of the Brit.
The unified heavyweight champion Usyk comfortably beat Joshua 11 months ago via unanimous decision, outlanding Joshua 148 to 123.
Joshua has since switched trainers and is now coached by Robert Garcia as the two heavyweight titans prepare to meet on Aug. 20 at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia.
“He is a strong guy and a strong boxer, and he cannot be written off in any way. In the rematch, he will be different. He will prepare differently. I will do that too,” Usyk told Parimatch. “The fight with Anthony Joshua showed that I can box in a heavyweight division and win, and I will continue in the same spirit. I will box, I will win, and I will showcase quality boxing.”
The slick southpaw Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) made Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) uncomfortable for most of the fight by landing heavier shots. The Ukrainian said that if he had 30 more seconds in the 12th round, he would have scored a knockdown of Joshua.
Joshua has been knocked down several times in his career, but he wasn’t dropped by Usyk.
“I don’t think about it anymore because it’s just guessing. It happened as it happened. I boxed 12 rounds and I won,” said Usyk.
“I have learned a lot. The coach watched the match many times and still watches it now. We will work out the combinations that we will use in our rematch. I cannot tell you all the secrets we are working on, but the coach and I saw a lot.
“I am confident in what I am doing and that I do my job to the fullest. But to be 100% sure about something like that? I don’t know. But I know what I do. I work, I box, and victory is given by the Lord.”
The former cruiserweight king Usyk made his heavyweight debut in 2019, and after beating Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora, he bested Joshua to win the WBO, WBA, IBF, and IBO titles.
The only belt Usyk doesn’t own is the WBC one that Tyson Fury has.
Usyk expects a fight with Fury for undisputed status.
“When the rematch is over, I think Tyson Fury won’t want to miss an opportunity to unite all of the belts. I think it is possible. God granted that it will be so,” said Usyk.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.