Anthony Joshua warns Oleksandr Usyk against diving into heavyweight deep end



Anthony Joshua says it’s time to sink or swim for Oleksandr Usyk after the Ukrainian jumps into the deep end with one of the heavyweight giants.

And the WBO, IBF and WBA champion has warned his rival he might struggle to keep his head above water this weekend.

Joshua, 31, takes on the former undisputed cruiserweight champion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.

The 6ft 6in Joshua will tip the scales over 17th this week while Usyk, at 6ft 3in, has never weighed more than 15th 8 pounds as a pro.

This will only be the division’s third fight for Usyk with the super-qualified southpaw struck off by some against the big boys at heavyweight.

Joshua takes on the mandatory challenger Usyk

Joshua said, “He jumps in the deep end from the start. But good luck to him, he must believe in himself.

“He wants to be on top from the start.

“Better to swim deep – get in there and keep going – than walk on water.

“You could still end up drowning anyway. You could still get caught in a current and drown.

“You might as well jump in and try to survive.

“The physical benefits are one thing, but that doesn’t make the tallest man in the world the heavyweight champion of the world, you know what I mean?

“He’s confident, his team is confident but what it is with a lot of people, I feel like it’s easy to watch on YouTube and watch from the outside.

“When you’re in front of someone it’s a whole different ball game. “

Joshua has only faced one southpaw as a professional before
Joshua has only faced one southpaw as a professional before

Joshua is the favorite but it’s a serious challenge. Usyk won’t be put off by the size difference and is another Olympic gold medalist.

It’s a huge stumbling block for ‘AJ’ as he tries to secure an undisputed clash with WBC champion Tyson Fury next year.

But, while the outcome is far from a guarantee this weekend, neither is the likelihood of a deal with the Gypsy King, even if he beats Deontay Wilder next month.

“I was wondering about the legacy and where boxing was years ago when I looked like 10 fights that happened years ago and, overwhelmingly, you know, the 1950s and all that. .

“I was thinking about the differences with these guys who really fought, which made them great.

“These days, he’s the one who talks the most, the one who gets the most interest in talking.

“So it’s a different area of ​​boxing, talking is just as important as fighting these days. For me, I’m just fighting these guys, no problem.

Aleksandr Usyk of Ukraine celebrates after winning the WBO Cruiserweight World Boxing Super Series fight against Marco Huck
Usyk is the former undisputed cruiserweight champion

Joshua might not fight Fury in a £ 200million super fight, but he’s still a big company in the sport.

He will earn around £ 15million for this weekend’s clash after selling Spurs home with more than € 1million expected to buy the fight a la carte as well.

While it remains the biggest attraction for sponsors in the sport while developing its own businesses, including the 258 management group.

“My fight as a fighter was not just to win in the ring,” he said.

“I found it easier than the battle outside the ring. At first I spent a lot of time understanding the climate and the promotion.

“Years ago there was a fighter, Jim Corbett, who understood the power of public relations. Today’s fighters understand that you have to be self-promoters.

“Muhammad Ali showed us the importance of self-promotion. So I understood that, I understood the big companies, and the power that they have… it’s phenomenal the power of these big brands and what they do for boxing in general.

“At first it was so, so difficult.

“What I did was have a trusted team around me.

“If they fuck me they won’t wake up the next morning, so good luck to them.” So far all is well, they are still breathing. I am not in jail. We are all happy. Everything is fine.

“What I did was take a step back. I have to focus on boxing and winning.

“It’s very difficult in boxing to improve by 1 or 2 percent – you have to spend about six to eight months working tirelessly at your craft.

“To do it at the highest level is really difficult. I went through the difficulties early on, put a solid foundation in place, so now I can fully concentrate on my boxing.

Anthony Joshua is currently preparing for mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk
Joshua has lost only once in 25 fights

But how much time does Joshua have left as he heads to his 26th pro outing?

“You have 36 to 40,” he added.

“36, it’s kind of like, how many years are you going beyond that?” Do you refuel at 40?

“That’s where Floyd Mayweather went, Alexander Povetkin, Wladimir Klitschko, guys my generation.

“Manny Pacquiao took it a step further. 40 seems to be the age where they say to themselves, “Okay, you’ve been doing this for a long time now, champion.”

“36 to 40 is when I start making decisions about what to do with my career. I am 32 years old in October so I still have many good years ahead of me.


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