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Anthony Joshua: Beating Oleksandr Usyk will give me admiration as a “true boxing legend”

Anthony Joshua sees his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk as a big opportunity for him to reclaim his status in boxing.

Anthony Joshua sees his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk as a big opportunity for him to reclaim his status in boxing
Anthony Joshua sees his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk as a big opportunity for him to reclaim his status in boxing
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Anthony Joshua isn’t pretending that changes weren’t needed in his camp if he’s to once again rebound to reclaim three major world titles in his Aug. 20 rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

This is sort of familiar territory for Joshua, who dropped all of the same titles to Andy Ruiz Jr in one of the biggest surprise upsets of the past few years in 2019.

Ruiz, however, is not Oleksandr Usyk, so on top of hiring Robert Garcia to be his new lead trainer, Joshua tells ESPN that he’s motivated to reclaim his standing in the sport of boxing:

“I feel when I go and beat Usyk, I’ll get the credit I deserve again. And I’ll get the admiration for being a true boxing legend. ... I fought for the heavyweight championship in my 16th fight; I felt like it’s kind of overlooked.”

Joshua continued by saying that while it’s all well and good that he’s still a popular fighter who is making a lot of money, what he really wants is respect.

Respect doesn’t necessarily come easy, however, and Joshua is preparing for what he expects to be another tough fight — but one he’s confident he can win.

“I’m not just gonna go in there thinking it’s gonna be easy. I will address the weaknesses and then I’ll make sure I get it right and become champion again. I think it’s a task that’s definitely possible.”

Almost everyone agrees that Joshua is going to have to flip his game plan from his last fight with Usyk where he tried to outbox a master boxer. That didn’t work.

But will Joshua be willing and able to put on a more physically imposing, bruising performance this time around to turn things in his favor? We’ll know for sure before the summer closes its curtains.