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Jonny Nelson believes Anthony Joshua should take confidence from the state of Oleksandr Usyk’s face after their first bout. The former cruiserweight world champion said that the Ukrainian looked like he ‘had been hit by a bus’ after the fight as he doubled down on claims that redemption is not an ‘impossible ask’.
Despite being comfortably outpointed in September, Joshua inflicted a lot of damage on his adversary leaving clear cuts and bruises on Usyk’s face. One of the main criticisms made against Joshua in the fight was that he was too ‘timid’ and didn’t use his size and strength advantage enough. Under new trainer Robert Garcia, ‘AJ’ is expected to adopt a more aggressive approach as he goes in search of a stoppage.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Nelson pointed out that Joshua has the power to hurt Usyk and is confident that the signs were there in their first contest. “Look at the last fight. Look at the state of Usyk when he came out. Usyk looked like he’d been hit by a bus even though he won and AJ lost,” he said.
“AJ now has to go in and do what he does. Go in and fight his fight. So, let’s see if there’s a difference. Use that height, use that range. Use that ruggedness about him. If he uses that, I cannot see him losing. Yes, the hullabaloo is there about Oleksandr Usyk but he is beatable. It can be done.
“This is not an impossible ask. It’s very possible. AJ’s got to go in there with the right mindset, the right game plan. This is a fight he can win and become a three-time heavyweight champion of the world.”
Usyk himself admitted that the fight was far more difficult than people first thought as he shut down claims that it was an ‘easy walk’ in the park.
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“It was a really difficult fight for me,” Usyk told Boxing Scene. “Everybody keeps saying it was an easy walk, but, no, it wasn’t. It was a hard fight for him and for me. After the fight, I came back to the hotel, and I took some food and I fall asleep sitting [up].”
The pair do battle again on August 20 at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia live on Sky Sports PPV. Usyk will be defending the WBA (super), IBF, and WBO world titles that he won from Joshua last year as an undisputed unification clash with WBC champion Tyson Fury looms.
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