Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2 is not only one of the greatest fights in British boxing history but also one of the greatest. On the one hand, boxing history has Oleksandr Uysk, a technical genius who mentally wears down any opponent he faces with his sparkling footwork and ability to twist and create angles on his opponents and then unleash a flurry of blows. And then there’s Anthony ‘AJ’ Joshua, the golden boy of the British heavyweight boxing division.
He first appeared on our screens at the 2012 Olympics, where he won Olympic gold by beating Italian veteran Roberto Amarelle, and since then Joshua has captured the attention and hearts of the British public with his powerful and fast hands. , winning after winning the win until he eventually won a huge WBA heavyweight title against the man, known as “Dr Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko
The battle was an all-time one. The 90,000 fans at Wembley Stadium broke records for fans in the stadium and around the world got exactly what they paid for in a heavyweight fight for centuries. Joshua defeated legend Klitschko in round 5 before his dream was nearly knocked out of his hands in round 6 when Klitschko himself scored a knockout. The fight was at the limit as neither of the two fighters wanted to engage and both fighters were visibly exhausted from the fight they had been involved in. However, that all changed in the eleventh round when Joshua unleashed a hell of overload that ultimately spelled the end of Klitschko’s dream, and it just came from there, didn’t it? Or so we thought
The shocking loss of Anthony Ruiz Jr showed that the first cracks were appearing in Joshua’s armor. The defeat was avenged with a stunning technical performance in Saudi Arabia which saw him regain the title. He was also coming up with a convincing win over veteran Kubrat Pulev. Then a title fight against Joshua and Usyk.
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Uysk had conquered the cruiserweight division by beating everyone offered to him because they had nothing more to achieve in the cruiserweight division. heavyweight, his footwork combined with ring control proved too much for Chisora and Witherspoon.
Those wins constitute a mandatory title fight against champion Anthony Joshua. A Joshua win over Usyk would surely have opened a mega fight against Gypsy King Tyson Fury to unify all heavyweight belts, a fight that had been on the agenda for many years but never materialized for many reasons, but a win against Usyk would be. You fight for sure, but as far as boxing is concerned, anything can happen.
The Ukrainian completely grounded Joshua by creating traps and angles and luring Joshua to throw jabs with his high guard and dodging Joshua’s big right hand by placing the lead leg off Joshua’s lead leg. The constant detours confused Joshua and resulted in southpaw Usyk constantly landing with his left hand straight during the fight and even blocking Joshua at the end of round 3 and then again in round 7 Usyk’s consistency not only won the fight but also the belts with unanimous decision by judges 115-113 116-112 and 117-112 in favor of the Ukrainian. Almost a year later, AJ and Usyk are ready for war again, this time under very different circumstances.
The meeting will take place on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a world away from the conditions of the first meeting in London. AJ’s angle is very different this time around, as longtime coach Rob McCracken passed away and was replaced by veteran coach Robert Garcia, who notably coached Nonito Donaire, Mikey Garcia, Kelly Pavlik and Marcos Maidana. The fighters trained by Garcia are best known for their aggressive and energetic style, which Anthony Joshua hasn’t had in recent fights. Joshua’s approach in recent fights has been much more patient, rather than waiting for openings and using his shots instead of going into wild trades like in Ruiz’s first fight. A new coach means a new vote in AJ’s corner, but what are the keys to both fighters’ victory?
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Anthony Joshua needs to give Usyk a hard time, he needs tactical aggression and he needs to set the pace of the fight and not allow the Ukrainian to settle into his usual moves. Joshua had the most success in the first fight as he dealt aggressively with several punches and didn’t let Usyk dictate where the fight went. His right hand gave Usyk trouble and he even managed to open above his left eye. In order for Joshua to get his belt back in this fight, he needs to be more aggressive and really let Usyk feel his power, he needs to keep throwing and wear Uysk completely, and he needs to set the pace, not Uysk.
We have seen in the fight against Derek Chisora that Uysk felt uncomfortable in some cases due to the overwhelming pressure that Chisora was exerting. Applying these tactics is easier said than done, as AJ’s friend and former Usyk challenger Tony Bellew described in an interview: “He mentally wore me out in our fight by constantly keeping his front leg next to mine. It doesn’t sound like much. But it’s a mental pressure that confuses you not physical This was evident in the first fight where Joshua was so exhausted at the end of round 12 that he couldn’t even raise his arms to defend himself due to the constant movement and mental pressure Usyk Joshua’s best chance of winning is to stop or take out the Ukrainian, which 18 others have tried and 18 others have failed.
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Oleksandr Usyk’s best shot at retaining the title is to beg for the same tactics as in his last fight against AJ. He knows Joshua will probably come out with a much more aggressive approach this time around, so his best way to win is by trapping. to seduce Joshua in the moment, he throws a series of different punches. Joshua is most dangerous in the first 6 rounds, so this is where Usyk needs to be most careful to avoid Joshua’s heavier punches, especially the grip at the bottom of the barrel. Usyk never has to do his footwork to tire Joshua, and then in the later rounds, when Joshua is tired and likely to defend, that’s where he has his best chance of sending Joshua away.
Both fighters die to return to the ring. Usyk wants to prove to the world that his victory was not just a coincidence and that he is a true heavyweight champion. While Joshua needs to get his belt back to prove he belongs at the top, another loss to Joshua would jeopardize his career and leave many people wondering how he will recover. Whatever happens on August 20th, a heavyweight fight for all ages is about to begin and you don’t want to miss it