Home Boxing News Oleksandr Usyk’s team issues warning to Anthony Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk’s team issues warning to Anthony Joshua

Oleksandr Usyk

Heavyweight contender Oleksandr Usyk 18-0 (13) will cause all sorts of headaches for WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 24-1 (22) when the duo meet at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in Tottenham, England on September 25.

That is the word coming out of the 34-year-old southpaw’s camp.

Team manager Sergey Lapin says the former undisputed cruiserweight champion has adjusted well to the higher weight class since moving up in 2019.

“More than two years have passed since Alexander’s transition to heavyweight – and today he is in optimal physical and mental condition to face Anthony Joshua,” said Lapin to MyBettingSites.

“Alexander has worked incredibly hard in training and will prove against Joshua that he is the best around, helped by the addition of trainer Anatoly Lomachenko who has brought his game to the next level.

“In our world, everyone always needs to prove themselves, which is what Usyk does time and again when everybody doubts him.

“And we, his team and loved ones, believe in his victory for two reasons – one, because he has one of the best techniques in boxing and two, because he uses his legs to the maximum which makes him so tough to face.

“But of course, AJ is a great boxer, he has passed a difficult path in his career. So we wish him good preparation and are waiting for him in the ring.”

He added: “AJ is fighting at home, he is the defending champion, he is the big star and a huge personality, so he has some responsibility to defend his status. Usyk has nothing to lose at all; even if he loses, he loses to the king.

“But if you want to become the king you have to dethrone the king, and that means facing the biggest challenges. AJ is the perfect opponent because he is the biggest possible spar at this stage.

“Fighting the biggest possible star with all of his skills and all of his experience gives you an opportunity to show how good you are.

“That leads to things that every fighter is looking for: fame, success, recognition, heritage, legacy, all things that a great fighter, not just a regular champion, is normally looking for.”

Joshua, 31, has said he is planning on slimming down for this bout to give himself more mobility against Usyk. He has weighed in at an average 245-pounds in his past seven fights going back to his bout against former world champion Wladimir Klitschko four years ago.

But Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk has warned the Briton that it will only reduce his natural advantage.

“We accept AJ shedding weight as good news because formerly a lot of experts gave his weight as an advantage. Now AJ is reducing his advantage,” he said.

“I’m not sure how he’s going to be on the scale and what kind of figure he will show, but he looks slimmer than in any of his previous fights. And that makes me think that AJ wants to present some boxing tactics for Usyk.

“Some people say size never matters. I’ve heard it in many movies. Size can matter sometimes, but boxing skills, boxing intelligence, experience, proper mindset, motivation, incentive; these are smaller things that together create the whole picture.

“Of course, it is an advantage that AJ has on his side, and he has to use it properly to get the victory. But there are some things that Usyk has as advantages and he will definitely be working hard to use them.”

Lapin added that Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko have had no input on Usyk’s camp.

“As for the advice from the Klitschko brothers, our fellow Ukrainians, we haven’t seen them in our training camp even once,” he said.

“Alexander has his own story and he has been writing it for a long time, from the moment he came to the gym at a young age. He does not need anyone else.”