British cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe has been in camp with Anthony Joshua and sees a new demeanor and different mindset in the fighter as he prepares for his Aug. 20 rematch with Oleksandr Usyk. In this fight Joshua will be looking to regain his world titles against the skilled Ukranian, but under the guidance of trainer Robert Garcia, Riakporhe doesn’t see Joshua attempting to get into a contest of boxing styles.
Riakporhe tells Sky Sports that both Robert Garcia and Angel Fernandez impart an aggressive approach to to fighting and have a philosophy of creating knockout opportunities. That said, Riakporhe adds that Garcia also wants intelligent aggression, and has already been seeing the changes in Joshua.
“I’ve been seeing how he’s been performing in training and he’s definitely not going to be trying to do that boxing stuff that he did last year,” the Londoner said. “You’re going to see that old school fighter. I know because he’s been training like that.”
It’s a kill or be killed mentality in camp, says Riakporhe, and that has changed the whole dynamic and energy of the training, noticing that Joshua’s become increasingly dangerous. That said, it’s still fully expected that Usyk gives Joshua a tough fight because he not only has supreme technical skill, but also a war-ready mentality, which is a brutal combination according to Riakporhe.
If Joshua’s changes pay dividends, we’ll find out in just a few weeks time as he once again is presented with an opportunity at redemption.