Anthony Joshua aims to become a three-time heavyweight champion against Oleksandr Usyk on August 20 but the Brit’s chances of winning the rematch have been dismissed
Anthony Joshua has been told his heart isn’t in boxing anymore and his chin has deteriorated ahead of the Brit’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
Joshua second encounter with Usyk was officially announced for August 20, with the fight taking place at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia. The rematch is being dubbed ‘Rage on the Red Sea’ as Usyk looks to defend the world titles he won against Joshua last September.
With the rematch now less than two months away, Joshua has been told by domestic rival Joe Joyce it will take a “miracle” for him to avenge his loss against Usyk. Joyce thinks his compatriot is a shell of his former self and has little chance of glory.
“If by some miracle Joshua beats Usyk, he will have to face me or vacate the belt. His chin has gone and I don’t think his heart is fully in the game any more — he’s a businessman more interested in lecturing students,” Joyce told The Sun.
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‘The Juggernaut’ was set to fight Usyk two years ago before Joshua and Fury’s undisputed clash collapsed, which allowed the Ukrainian to step in and dethrone Joshua. Joyce pushed for a fight with Joshua or Usyk after his last win against Carlos Takam.
Joshua has linked up with Robert Garcia for his rematch with Usyk after parting ways with longtime trainer Robert McCracken. ‘AJ’ was encouraged to find a new trainer after failing to implement his gameplan against Usyk last year.
The 32-year-old said of his upcoming bout: “What a roller coaster journey, fighting for the Heavyweight Championship of the World for the 12th consecutive time. I won the belt, unified the division won another belt, lost the belts, became two-time Unified Heavyweight Champion and now have my date with history set to become three-time Unified Heavyweight Champion of the World.
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“What an opportunity. Fighting championship level back to back has had its pros and cons, but I decide every day to get stronger, to learn from my experiences and grow. A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter and I am the happiest and most motivated I have been.”
Some fans are convinced Usyk will be able to knockout Joshua in their rematch after packing on a considerable amount of size in a recent training picture. Usyk weighed in at a career-heaviest weight against Joshua last year, stepping on the scale at 221lb.