Anthony Joshua admits Oleksandr Usyk rematch will be first time he has had gameplan
Joshua has admitted he will be working to a specific gameplan for the first time in his career, rather than relying on his "raw ability" in his second meeting with Usyk
Anthony Joshua has admitted he will be working to a gameplan for the first time in his career when he seeks revenge against Oleksandr Usyk this summer.
The British star is currently working with trainer Angel Fernandez who has taken the reigns from Rob McCracken to prepare him for his second meeting with Usyk. Joshua came under heavy fire for his “gun-shy” tactical approach to his initial defeat with Usyk where he was outboxed comfortably in a points defeat.
However ‘AJ’ has admitted a large proportion of his success has relied on raw ability which has caused him to overthink tactics against previous opponents. “If I’m honest with you, this is the first time in my career I’d say we are specifically working to a game plan,” Joshua said during a Q&A with the Oxford Union.
“So it will all make sense after July 23. I’ve based a lot of my success on raw ability, with the right coaches, experienced coaches. But they probably knew I had ability. So, it’s just about neutering that ability. What tends to happen is, we overthink things too much when there isn’t a game plan.
“Because things don’t always go our way when it’s based on raw ability. “So I believe when I start looking at social media now, you’re seeing so many different aspects of training and stuff. So raw ability wasn’t enough, so now I’m gonna try out this new game plan training and see how it goes.”
Joshua hinted in the aftermath of the defeat in London that he had adopted the wrong style to face his Ukrainian rival. However he is now eager overturn the deficit with the fight set to take place on July 23 in Saudi Arabia.
It will be the second time in the Briton’s career that he will fight for retribution having out-boxed Andy Ruiz Jr in a Middle East rematch three years ago. Joshua adopted a more cautious approach that day, but it is widely expected he will look to be more aggressive and use his significant size advantage this time around.
The 32-year-old admitted he will need to go back to basics if he is to have any chance of dethroning the new unified champion. “The fight with Usyk, in my mind, was going for 12 rounds,” Joshua continued. “That was my game plan because I thought I could compete with him as a boxer.
“And I think he won two more rounds than I did. That’s how he became champion. So the goal now is to go back to basics and go for the knockout. Now when you’re boxing, the art of boxing is to hit and not get hit. So you’re kind of boxing to stay away. That’s not really my style. My style is to be up close and personal and make it difficult for the person. So that’s the game plan.”