‘He bust my ass and I have to take it like a man’: Anthony Joshua claims he is still on track to become undisputed heavyweight champion despite his defeat vs Oleksandr Usyk… as new trainer Robert Garcia insists he ‘fought the wrong fight’ last time out
- Joshua insists he is on track to become the undisputed heavyweight champion
- AJ is gearing up for a crucial rematch with Usyk in Saudi Arabia on August 20
- He has freshened up his team, parting company with coach Robert McCracken
- Joshua has now joined forces with new esteemed cornerman Robert Garcia
- Usyk spoke about his preparation for the fight amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
- He described the circumstances as ‘not the best’ but said he was ‘working hard’
Joshua is gearing up for a crucial rematch with Usyk in Saudi Arabia on August 20, almost a year on from his conclusive points defeat against the Ukrainian in London.
This time around AJ has freshened up his training team, parting company with former coach Robert McCracken and joining forces with new esteemed cornerman Robert Garcia, leaving no stone unturned as he eyes revenge in the Middle East.
AJ insists he is on track to fulfil his dream of becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion
At the opening press conference to unveil the rematch on Tuesday, the Brit labelled his humbling last September as a ‘little blip in the road’.
‘Definitely the hunger’s still there,’ Joshua said. ‘As I always said from the get go stay hungry, just keep the motivation high.
‘Blips happen, things happen in life, but resilience, mental toughness, consistency will always prevail.
However, Joshua (left) did admit Oleksandr Usyk (right) ‘bust my ass’ when they last met
‘So we’re still on the road to undisputed for sure and it’s just a little blip in the road. But I’m focused on the target, which is sitting over there, I’m focused on the goal and god willing I’ll perform and I’ll become three-time heavyweight champion of the world.’
Joshua went on to speak about his fight against Andy Ruiz, claiming ‘people could see before the fight that things weren’t 100 per cent’.
Ruiz won the heavyweight showdown by technical knockout in the seventh round and subsequently ended Joshua’s undefeated record and became the new unified heavyweight champion.
Reflecting on the fight, AJ said: ‘With Andy Ruiz, I think a lot of people can see before the fight things weren’t 100 per cent.
Joshua also spoke about his fight with Andy Ruiz – saying he wasn’t 100 per cent heading into it
Garcia (right) says AJ looks like a ‘different’ fighter since they started working together
‘But you’ve got to be strong and thick skinned, we take our loss like a man, because when I win I keep it moving, I think everybody, and if I lose you’ve got to stay humble as well in defeat. So I kept it moving and I knew I could come back again and do what I have to do.
‘The fight with Usyk, he bust my ass for some rounds and I have to take that defeat like a man as well. But I hold myself accountable, I’m someone who can admit when I’m wrong and hold my head high when I’m right.
‘In the fight in September I was wrong and he was right, and simply I have to reverse that role August 20.’
Joshua’s new coach, Garcia, added: ‘I see a different AJ now. The way he thinks, talks. He fought the wrong fight last time but that’s the past. Come August 20 we will do whatever it takes to win those titles back!’.
Usyk spoke about his preparation for the fight amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He described the circumstances as ‘not the best’ but insisted he was ‘working hard’
Meanwhile, Usyk spoke about his preparation for the fight amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He described the circumstances as ‘not the best’ but insisted he was ‘working hard’.
The 35-year-old said: ‘As we all know, we are not in the best conditions at the moment back at home, but we are doing what we have to do, we doing my job together with my team and we are working hard on our goals.
‘I never made some very loud and bright speeches, all I did was just work hard in my training camp and in my gym – that’s what I’m gonna do until the date of the fight.
‘And then I will enter the ring and make you happy with my boxing.’