Anthony Joshua has hinted he might retire if he loses to Aleksandr Usyk for a second time
Anthony Joshua says that the stakes are high ahead of his world heavyweight title rematch with Aleksandr Usyk in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday night – and admits that he may step away from the sport if he suffers a second defeat in succession against the undefeated Ukrainian star.
Usyk scored a clear-cut decision win against Joshua in their first meeting last year to claim the Briton’s array of world titles as he used his slick, technical boxing skills to flummox his powerful rival.
Joshua added trainer Robert Garcia to his camp in advance of the fight after parting ways with former coach Rob McCracken and is tipped to employ a fare more aggressive strategy in the sequel in a bid to hand Usyk the first loss of his career.
And speaking ahead of the pivotal contest, Joshua admitted that he might consider hanging up his gloves if he comes up short for a second time.
“Everything is at stake. It’s a big fight, it’s a big night,” Joshua said ahead of the fight.
“The heavyweight championship of the world is on the line, so it’s big. It’s a must win because I don’t want to walk away.”
It is something of a rarity for a thoroughbred athlete such as Joshua to not be the odds-on favorite in a high stakes matchup such as this, but the London 2012 Olympic gold winner says that the doubters have provided him with an added motivation to succeed.
Some of those doubts even came from his promoter, Eddie Hearn, who told the media that if Usyk is in the driving seat past the halfway point of the fight, it will likely be a disappointing evening for Joshua.
“Being underdog is fun because the pressure has challenged me a lot. When I was winning, boxing’s great and life is good,” Joshua said.
“Now being in this position makes you realize what this game is about. Now I’m fighting under the pressure of challenging myself personally because I want to do well.
“A lot of people get knocked down when it doesn’t go well and then the challenge is to bring themselves back up to where they were.
“I always stay in good spirits, so the challenge for me has actually been to elevate my spirits past where I was, that’s where the true struggle is.”
And while an attempt to outbox Usyk will almost certainly end in failure, Joshua says that his nor can he solely rely on his power advantage.
“I could say I’m going to sit on his chest and use my size in a different way, but no, you’ve got to do it all in boxing,” Joshua said.
“You can’t be a one-trick pony, you have got to have different aspects to your game. Use your strengths, but don’t neglect the other areas. I need to get my feet out of the mud, use my feet, get my heart rate going, use my attributes.
“I’m definitely the bigger man. I can keep it rangy or I can keep it short. But what you’ve got to do is compete at the highest level. It’s kill or be killed.
“I’ve been in there with him before. I know his tricks, I know what’s doing. And I know what I want to do.”
https://ift.tt/w9ENJqK 20, 2022 at 06:43PM
from RT – Daily news