As unified heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua gets ready to put his belts on the line against mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk on September 25, Joshua tells Sky Sports that he understands he’ll be facing a unique opponent with good movement and skill and that’s why he’s mentally training himself not to get frustrated in tracking Usyk down in the ring.
Joshua says he’s been preparing himself to throw several punches at a time instead of singular shots and concentrating on his mental focus so he can be dialed in for 12 full rounds should it be necessary.
“It’s a fight for the brain. Knowing what you’ve got in front of you and knowing how to deal with it. You can either be aggressive, corner [him], throw everything at it. Or take your time, be clever, then knock [him] out.”
The champion goes on to say that he’s been tailoring his training specifically for this fight, knowing that it probably won’t be a great idea to come into this fight too muscle-bound to where he could quickly fatigue.
“I’m looking trim for this fight. I’m fighting a guy who is a 12-round fighter. So it would be silly of me to go in there bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen. I’ve been training like a 15-round fighter in this camp. I will be well-conditioned to fight. That is key.”
In the final weeks of his preparations Joshua is lining up what he considers to be adequate sparring to prepare him for the southpaw Usyk, saying it’s good for him to be sparring fighters who are faster than him to get acclimated to what he can expect to see in the ring.