Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: AJ makes 'raw ability' admission

  • Tom Ward

Anthony Joshua has admitted that he relied too much on ‘raw ability’ against Oleksandr Usyk – but has vowed to put it right in their rematch.

AJ, 32, was completely outclassed back in September as he lost the WBA, IBF, and WBO world heavyweight titles to the Ukrainian.

The British superstar is hoping to avenge his schooling at the hands of the slick southpaw in the summer, although the date and location for their second showdown hasn’t been finalised.

The pair’s rematch has been pencilled in for July 23 in Saudi Arabia, and Joshua claims that he has ‘added more to my arsenal’ after making several changes to his training set-up.

Speaking at the Oxford Union, he said: “Before it was just on raw ability.

“As I said, fighting for the championship in 16 fights is kind of unheard of because you’re still developing, so there’s a lot of rawness still that you need to polish.

“Now I feel polished, I’m experienced, I’ve lost, I’ve came back.

“I’ve fought the best of this era, yet to still fight a few people, one that’s retired recently, one in America that we don’t know what’s happening.

Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk are set to rematch in the summer

“So there’s a few more top tier fighters that I want to add to my resume.

“I feel as a more experienced person with a lot more character due to the things that I’ve been to I shall follow up on gameplans but also use that raw spirit I have.

“Not just depending on that but I feel like I’ve added more to my arsenal.”

One of the criticisms constantly levelled at Joshua is that he is a businessman first and foremost and a boxer second.

But he insists that he doesn’t see anything wrong with that.

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Where was Anthony Joshua born?

Joshua added: “I never thought I would be moving more into the business realm when I first started boxing.

“But I said to you earlier right, as an athlete you move up the ranks and then you become a voice of politics, a voice of religion. You become your family account, your family financier, so you become all these things, you become the family businessman…

“So how do I balance it? It’s about your team and being honest with the people around you and letting them know that it’s not your priority.

“I’m more than capable of opening a business and investing in simple, low-risk investments.

“But just being true – what are you capable of doing and what aren’t you capable of doing? It’s as simple as that and the team I’m around.

“I’m around a lot of people that are probably smarter than me in certain industries.

“The negatives of that is that takes a lot of time away from my true craft.

“What it takes to be one of the top tier athletes is so time-consuming but I do know at the core of it all it’s all about the money.”

READ MORE: Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: Major change revealed in AJ’s camp

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