Anthony Joshua wanted to prove he isn't a 'big stiff bodybuilder' against Oleksandr Usyk

  • Tom Ward
Anthony Joshua admits he wanted to prove he isn't a 'big stiff bodybuilder' against Oleksandr Usyk

Anthony Joshua has admitted his preparations in the build-up to his fight with Oleksandr Usyk were affected by the doubters who continue to brand him as a ‘big, stiff bodybuilder’.

Former unified heavyweight world champion AJ acknowledges he let that stigma negatively affect him which ended up backfiring horribly in his face.

Joshua, 32, suffered a lopsided points defeat to the Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September. 

But the 32-year-old is adamant he will beat WBA, IBF and WBO champ Usyk as well as fellow Brit Tyson Fury, who holds the WBC belt.

Joshua told Sky Sports: “I was supposed to fight [Fury] last August.

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“If I don’t fight the guy I’m supposed to fight, I want the next best.

Anthony Joshua suffered his second career defeat against Oleksandr Usyk

“Usyk came up from cruiserweight – a great fighter, a 12-round fighter.

“There was always this stigma saying that I can’t box – that I was a big, stiff bodybuilder.

“I said: ‘Okay, cool’.

“Usyk won nine rounds, I won three.

Anthony Joshua has split from Rob McCracken

“In the next fight, if I win four more rounds then I will win. Let me simplify that matter.

“Then I’ll get onto the road to being the undisputed champion again.”

Joshua has been training in Dubai and the United States after confirming he has split from long-time trainer Rob McCracken for the rematch with Usyk.

He also denied suggestions that his time at the top is over, claiming that he is more motivated than ever before to win his belts back. 

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Where was Anthony Joshua born?

Joshua added: “I belong on the big stage. I belong as a champion, I belong among the names of this current generation. You will see why.

“If I didn’t fight the best, I may not have lost.

“People have high expectations of me, so they are shocked. I have high expectations too.

“When I lost the first time I never made excuses but I had my reason.

“I took my loss but I knew I would get it back.

“But this one hurt. There were no problems, I just lost to the better man on the night. But it gave me motivation to pull myself out of that position.

“I will redeem myself.”

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