Anthony Joshua must be more aggressive. That is the verdict of former undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson on the rematch between Joshua and Ukrainian southpaw Oleksandr Usyk on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.
The 32-year-old Joshua lost his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles to Usyk, 35, by unanimous decision last September at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
With the rematch fast approaching, Tyson has given his view on what Joshua needs to do to regain his titles and avenge his loss.
‘Iron Mike’ suggested that the jab could be the key weapon for AJ in order to grind down his opponent and encouraged him to be more aggressive.
Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, as per Ring News 24, Tyson said: “He’s going to have to wear him down, he’s not going to outbox this guy, he’s not going to do it, he’s just going to beat him.
“Usyk is very hard to hit. He’s an elite amateur boxer, that kind of elite amateur boxer spoils guys like Joshua because there’s too much movement, feints and all that stuff.
“He can do a lot, that’s why he’s not a lost soul, he can learn a lot, he’s still learning, that’s why he’s the dangerous Joshua, because he’s still learning. He can’t just feint, his jabs have to be constantly out there and he has to turn them into something.”
Tyson went on to talk of Joshua’s potential, highlighting the pressure AJ can feel from American audiences.
“He has so much damn potential.
“Joshua has balls – he’s no walk over.
“It’s just that for some reason we expect a lot from Joshua. Americans expect a lot out of Joshua for some reason.”
After his defeat last September, Joshua was criticised for trying to outbox his opponent. David Haye has made a similar point to Tyson, urging the British fighter to impose himself and push the rules to the limit.
Haye told Gareth A Davies: “He’s got a good team who’s gonna drill it into him that this is not a boxing match, this has got to be a dog fight from the first bell.
“He should be this close to getting a point deducted or disqualified, that’s how physical he needs to be because he’s a specimen like no other in the heavyweight division.
“He is physically the supreme heavyweight right now. He just needs to apply that into a style that’s useful and last time round it wasn’t very useful at all and this time around he really has to do it. And I believe he will do it.”
As well as Tyson and Haye, former WBA super middleweight champion George Groves offered his take on the fight in an interview with Seconds Out.
“I feel like people do an injustice when they’re like, ‘Oh, he needs to get back to his old ways’,” Groves said.
“He was never just raggedy, come out swinging and just using his power. He was never that. He was always pretty metaphorical in the way he would try and approach a fight, just with a bit more experience.
“And then people have been assuming he’s just a little more gun-shy now since the [Andy] Ruiz fight, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. I think he needs to use his jab [with authority] and whack Usyk hard. You know, you’ve got to punch with this guy (Usyk), because you can’t try punch after him; he’s too quick and he takes great angles.”
Boxing Social state that Joshua has brought in Robert Garcia to join Angel Fernandez in his corner, with many expecting that new relationship to bring out a more aggressive AJ.