Dave Coldwell believes Oleksandr Usyk was astounded by how easy it was for him to beat Anthony Joshua in September. However, the Ukrainian has insisted it was a ‘really difficult fight’ despite his comfortable points victory
There has been a lot made of how comfortable Usyk looked when he snatched the unified heavyweight titles from ‘AJ’ on home soil last September. ‘The Cat’ glided in and out of range effortlessly as he outpointed his foe over the twelve-round distance in London.
Usyk landed with regularity and delivered the more punishing blows throughout the contest but also absorbed his fair share of big shots as well. Post-fight Usyk’s face was cut and bruised badly, and the former undisputed cruiserweight champion admitted he was so exhausted after the contest that he fell asleep sitting up in his hotel room.
“It was a really difficult fight for me,” Usyk told Boxing Scene. “Everybody keeps saying it was an easy walk, but, no, it wasn’t. It was a hard fight for him and for me. After the fight, I came back to the hotel, and I took some food and I fall asleep sitting [up].”
“I actually think it’s going to be even better than the first one. The first one was a good fight, but it was a little bit where I think Usyk was surprised at how easy it was and I think AJ was overthinking things,” he told Seconds Out.
He continued: “You have to take him out of his comfort zone, you have to make him feel uncomfortable. You have to make him do more things that he doesn’t want to do and that’s on AJ to do that and use his capabilities because AJ’s a very talented fighter, a very underestimated fighter. You don’t achieve what he’s done in the sport without being a good fighter.”
Joshua now prepares to do just that during their August 20 rematch at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Watford powerhouse is expected to use his size and strength advantage more in their second fight after he was ridiculed for being ‘too timid’ in the inaugural outing.
This appears to be the clear path to victory for ‘AJ’ during the Saudi showdown and much of the advice from pundits and fighters has been the same. Former super-middleweight world champion George Groves even went on record to suggest Joshua should approach the fight as if it is a six-rounder rather than a 12-round fight and attempt to dispatch of his man early doors.