With Anthony Joshua set to defend his heavyweight world titles against Oleksandr Usyk this weekend in London, Joshua tells ESPN that he’s been much more concerned about preparing himself to deal with Usyk’s southpaw style rather than worry much about whatever power Usyk might be packing.
“He’s fought many men that are orthodox and during my process in training for a southpaw, I’ve actually learned where my feet need to be positioned, what controls a southpaw and generally counterpunches. His biggest threat is he’s used to seeing guys like me throughout the whole of his career and ... I’ve had to train for him over the last three months. So yes, I’ve adapted.”
Joshua would continue by saying that he’s tailored his training according to his opponent and in this instance he’s been sparring longer rounds and doing a lot more physical work that’s caused him to trim down his physique. One might be concerned about Joshua giving up too much of his size advantage over the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, but Joshua believes that his physical advantages won’t play nearly as much of a role as will his mental capacity and skill.
As for Usyk himself, Joshua knows that his opponent is entering this fight with a lot of confidence, but believes Usyk will be in for a bit of a surprise in the ring as he’ll come to realize that watching Joshua on tape isn’t the same as being opposite of him between the ropes.