Joshua is already a two-time world heavyweight champion, and has beaten the likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Joseph Parker during his career, but a win over Usyk would be special
Anthony Joshua feels that winning his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk this summer will cement his position as a legend in boxing.
The two-time world heavyweight champion has already climbed the mountain top in his sport twice, and has beaten the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and Dillian Whyte during his career. He is also an Olympic gold medalist, but fans have questioned his legacy after losses to Usyk and Andy Ruiz Jr in recent years.
Now, he has a chance to defeat one of the sport’s pound-for-pound greats in Usyk, who was a legendary undisputed cruiserweight champion before moving up. The pair went the distance back in September, but Joshua was comfortably beaten in front of over 60,000 fans at Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
He immediately exercised his rematch clause, and will get another chance to fight for the belts on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Brit will make a massive money purse for the fight, and believes it will cement his legacy.
“I feel when I go and beat Usyk, I’ll get the credit I deserve again,” he explained in an interview with ESPN. “And I’ll get the admiration for being a true boxing legend.
“I fought for the heavyweight championship in my 16th fight; I felt like it’s kind of overlooked. This is my 12th title fight in a row – I just feel like sometimes even though we’re selling out arenas and it’s good to be popular, I don’t really care for that stuff. I’d just want the respect in the division.”
Joshua is considered by many to be the third best heavyweight in the world, behind Usyk and Tyson Fury who grapple for the top spot in most experts eyes. But he is desperate to prove that he is the greatest of his generation with a win over the Ukrainian, before looking to become undisputed.
“It makes me feel more comfortable knowing that I’ve been in a ring with a fighter before,” he said of Usyk, who will be the third rematch of his professional career after he defeated Dillian Whyte in a paid return of their amateur meeting and Andy Ruiz in December 2019 for the heavyweight belts.
Action Images via Reuters)
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“But ultimately he might come completely different – I definitely feel my training approach changes because I knew where I wasn’t good enough areas where I was exposed.
“And look, I’ve got a third chance to become heavyweight champion of the world. I’m not just going to go in there thinking it’s going to be easy. I will address the weaknesses and then I’ll make sure I get it right and become champion again. I think it’s a task that’s definitely possible.”
Joshua has brought in a new trainer in Robert Garcia, who wants to add a world heavyweight champion to his list of world title winners. And he expects to get his flowers should this change of pace earn him what would likely be the best win of his career.
“Now, it’s all about, ‘oh, he’s not good enough anyway,’ so that’s the motivation to prove I’m good enough,” Joshua continued. “Because when you are doing it and you’re on top, it’s hard to get the credit.”
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