To beat Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch, Anthony Joshua must “become an offensive boxer” again, heavyweight contender Joe Joyce said.
Joyce fought both Joshua and Usyk as an amateur boxer. While on the GB team, Joyce fought countless rounds with Joshua at the British Academy of Sport.
He is also the number one ranked challenger for the WBO heavyweight belt, one of three titles that Usyk and Joshua will be competing against on August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. It got Joyce interested in their rematch.
The Londoner advised Usyk to win, though added, “Unless Joshua can really change his style and also become an offensive fighter again.
“When we were in the GB team, I always liked going up against him, it used to be fun. But then suddenly he’s a little bit more like. [on the] backleg.
“[Against Usyk] he seems very orderly in technique and footwork and everything. But he is trying to send a letter to Usyk. Perhaps it was Usyk who kept him away. But he seems very clinical. He could have made it a little harder for him to get inside and snap a few chances with pitches. “
Joyce thinks Joshua needs to restore his old style. Joyce said: “There was a particularly early period where we always had to go head-to-head. “Then it came to a point where, like, when he turned professional, he started to get a little bit more retarded and wasn’t really ready to come in.
“Especially with the (Andy) Ruiz Jr rematch, he probably went on the defensive with his back foot. [mode]’ Joyce said.
“[He] a little scared to join. I guess so because he must have seen Ruiz’s shadow laying him down. Even (Wladimir) Klitschko knocked him down and he was in trouble for the whole round as they fought. Klitschko, if he had been a more offensive fighter, he could have put him out there. “
Even more aggression might not be enough to fight Usyk a second time, Joyce thought.
“[Usyk] already knowing what to do in the first battle, he went straight to work. So this fight he beat him. So he knows exactly what to do again. He may be three or four steps ahead of him,” suggested Joyce.
The Londoner saw how good the Ukrainian was when he beat Usyk over five rounds in the World Boxing format in 2013.
Joyce said: “He missed my shots. I could have been more effective with the doubles and he easily missed my punches and moved his legs but I did everything. all that is available”.
“I also landed some big hits with him. It wasn’t one-sided. It was a pretty close fight, I think, and I definitely hit better than Joshua, I think.”
If Joyce defeats Joseph Parker when they fight on September 24, he will still be WBO no. 1 strong contender and went on to win on Aug. 20. He wants it to be Joshua.
“Beyond the London Olympics, the boxing scene has exploded and he’s the leader and he’s made boxing fun again,” Joyce said.
“It’s a great fight. If he can beat Usyk this time.”
Anthony Joshua’s massive heavyweight rematch with Oleksandr Usyk takes place on Saturday, August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 Tickets Now!