IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is very to make a statement when he faces mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk on September 25.
The two boxers both captured gold in the 2012 Olympic games in London, with Joshua getting gold at super heavyweight and Usyk picking up the top medal at heavyweight.
“When I step into that ring, no matter how much of a nice guy I am, it’s about winning,” Joshua exclusively told Sky Sports.
“It’s about defining performances and training in the right fashion so I look good, which adds stock to my value. When you fight good opponents people respect it. They have to give you credit. This is about being a throwback fighter and taking on all challenges. It’s about statement performances.”
Usyk unified the entire cruiserweight division in 2018 – by defeating Murat Gassiev in the final bout of the first season of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.
He moved up to heavyweight the following year and defeated Chazz Witherspoon, which was followed by a tough decision win over veteran Derek Chisora last October.
Usyk was by far a better amateur fighter, but Joshua believes he’s the better pro and plans to prove it in the ring.
“It’s all about ring time – the more time you spend in the ring, the more time you spend lacing your boots, the more time you spend with your gloves on. Understanding angles, where you are when you finish punching, where shots are coming from. Everything is in reverse with a southpaw,” Joshua said.
“That’s the technical element, then you have the spiritual element. I am a fighting person. I pray and meditate and visualize. I train my mind. That will get me a long way, as well. Mix of the technical ability and the God-given talent? Even though I’m fighting a southpaw I should be able to find ways and see gaps to exploit each of my opponents.
“I rate all my opponents. He’s good. It’s all about the final bell and whose hand is raised. He’s good but I’m better. He is a great challenger for the heavyweight titles. I’m looking to do a good job, to handle business, because I have my eyes set on other things.”
This article was originally published on www.boxingscene.com