Last September, the boxing world was stunned by the shock defeat Oleksander inflicted on former heavy weight champion of the world Anthony Joshua. The fight, which for AJ was played on ‘home turf’ at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, went the full twelve rounds which meant the outcome had to be decided by the boxing judges.
It was a shock defeat for Joshua, who since then has been working hard in the gym to “outbox” and “smash” his opponent. AJ is clearly hungry to take his revenge in the ring, and win back the IBF, WBA and WBO belts he lost to Usyk last year.
In the first fight, Usyk caused plenty of problems for the Englishman, to which he had very few answers. He was caught off guard several times in the earlier rounds with the famous fast left hand of his Ucranian opponent. It went on to be something that troubled him all night, and it’s something Joshua will need to be aware of this time round.
Since that fight, Joshua has changed trainer and has been working closely with Robert Garcia. He has since gained 4lbs and his imposing and extremely muscular body surprised many during his weigh in. It’s an interesting physical change, and an approach that AJ and his training team clearly feel with pay off.
With more muscle mass, it’s likely that the former champion will be able to land strong blows to his opponent, which if he manages to do so, could increase the chances of a potential knock out. However, more muscle could reduce his stamina and ability to get to the late rounds.