28 October 2020

‘I know how to hurt someone’ - Anthony Joshua warns Oleksandr Usyk how professional game differs from amateurs

Anthony Joshua has told Oleksandr Usyk his amateur style may not have the same success in the professional game as he moves up to the heavyweight division.

The 33-year-old Ukrainian, who won Olympic gold as a heavyweight at the 2012 Games in London, is currently 17-0 as a pro having picked up all the belts at cruiserweight.

Usyk conquered the cruiserweight division by becoming undisputed champion before moving up to heavyweight (PA)

But Joshua, who won gold in the super-heavyweight division at the same Olympics, feels he is more than ready for the slick amateur pedigree Usyk possesses. 

"When I boxed Andy Ruiz Jr in the second fight I adapted to the Usyk style," he told Sky Sports.

"Hit and don't get hit, the sweet science of boxing. You learn that from the amateurs.

"I was amateur for two-and-a-half years so was still adapting to different styles. Usyk was amateur for a long time so he has taken the 'hit and don't get hit' style into the pros.

"The good thing that helped me? Sometimes I know to sit down on my feet and hurt someone.

"You've got to let them know that you're there because all that pitty-patty stuff after 12 rounds? Sometimes people don't respect that type of power."

Joshua was stopped by Ruiz in June 2019 but then produced a shutout display in Saudi Arabia at the end of last year to reclaim his world heavyweight titles with a unanimous decision victory.

Usyk will face his first test in the heavyweight division against Dereck Chisora (right) this weekend (Twitter: @MatchroomBoxing)

Meanwhile, Usyk will take on his first live heavyweight opponent at Wembley Arena this Saturday night when he takes on experienced Brit Dereck Chisora.

The Eastern European is looking to maintain his position as Joshua’s WBO mandatory challenger, although it is unclear when he will get his shot at the belt, providing he beats Chisora.

Joshua is fighting Kubrat Pulev in December and is then expected to take on Tyson Fury twice in 2021.

That could mean Joshua is eventually forced to relinquish the title in order to grant Usyk his shot at a vacant belt.

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