Boxing fans have noticed that Anthony Joshua has considerably trimmed down whilst Oleksandr Usyk has put on size for their rematch next weekend.
Joshua, 32, has been waiting to fight Usyk, 35, for the second time ever since losing his belts to the Ukrainian last September. The pair meet again in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia next Saturday as ‘AJ’ hopes to become one of the few three-time heavyweight champions in boxing history whilst Usyk looks to make the first defence of his belts. Tyson Fury’s recently-vacated Ring magazine belt is also on the line.
Usyk posted a video of himself training for the rematch and fans were quick to point out the Ukrainian’s bulky physique. Since moving up from being an undisputed cruiserweight champion, talk about Usyk being undersized for the heavyweight division has constantly surrounded him. Joshua’s frame also caught the attention of fans as he looked noticeably slimmer in a recent training picture.
One fan wrote of Joshua’s physique: “Joshua looks in great shape. Leaner and lighter.” ‘AJ’ weighed in at 240lb for his first meeting with Usyk whilst the Ukrainian stepped on the scale at a career-high of 221lb. Another user said Joshua’s physique won’t matter in the rematch, writing: ‘He can be in the best shape of his life. That won’t give him a fighter’s heart or chin.”
A third user commented: “Career lightest maybe? He’s definitely going for speed and more body shots are needed as well”. Joshua parted ways with coach Robert McCracken after his loss to Usyk and has since linked up with Robert Garcia for the rematch. ‘AJ’ insists he won’t change his style for the second fight but will rely on Garcia to come up with a new gameplan to dethrone Usyk.
Usyk’s muscular frame also caught the attention of Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, who is confident his fighter will be able to walk the heavyweight champion down and knock him out inside six rounds. Usyk has never been dropped in his professional career and looks for his 20th consecutive win against Joshua.
“He [Usyk] looks really big,’ Hearn told Boxing Social. “I expect him to try and walk AJ down. I think this fight will be over in six rounds. I think it’s going to be a war. I don’t think Usyk wants to be walked down by AJ, to box off the back foot against an aggressive Anthony Joshua. I expect him to be aggressive, and I think he’s going to get knocked out.”