A “re-invented” Anthony Joshua said he is well aware of Oleksandr Usyk’s tricks and knows what he must do to defeat the Ukrainian when they meet in their rematch in Jeddah on Saturday.
Usyk beat Joshua in front of a sell-out crowd at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to take the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.
The 32-year-old Briton, who now has a new trainer in American former super-featherweight world champion Robert Garcia, said he learned a lot from his first meeting with Usyk.
“I know what he’s going to do, I know what I’ve got to do,” Joshua told the BBC. “I’ve been in there before, I know his tricks. I’ve got to go change the narrative. I’m the author of my own movie.
“I took myself to the United States, worked with some new trainers. I just wanted to kind of revamp things. I’m going to be 33 in a couple of months. I want to try something new, I want to revamp myself, reinvent myself - let me bring in some new coaches.
“I’ve just got to go in there and do my job, no excuses. I’m a winner, I think I’m known as a winner. We’ve come into the game and just been winning ever since. There’s not really nothing else to know about me.”
Joshua previously lost the belts to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 before regaining them later that year.
Meanhwhile, Usyk’s victory over Joshua has come as no shock to Peter Fury, one of Britain’s leading trainers.
“I’m not one of these to jump on the gravy train. I’ve always been impressed with Usyk, from a long time ago. I’ve always known Usyk was the real deal,” Fury told Sky Sports.
“He’s a good fighter Usyk, talented and he’s a natural fighter as well. That’s the difference. That’s why he’s a quality operator. This guy can box in his sleep. He’s born, bred to fight this Usyk. So he’s as real as it gets, he’s a proper fighter in my eyes.”
As the unified WBO, IBF and WBA champion, Usyk succeeds Wladimir Klitschko as the next great heavyweight from Ukraine. But Usyk is a very different type of fighter.
“Klitschko fought like big men should, and was a good fighter in his day. This is a different time and Usyk is a rounded package. Not to say he’s better than them, they’ve had their time and I’m not saying that, but this guy is more of a rounded fighter,” said Fury, who trained his nephew Tyson Fury when he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko.