Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2: AJ's physique a week out from fight

Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2: AJ's physique a week out from fight

Anthony Joshua’s long awaited rematch against Oleksandr Usyk is now less than a week away.

After their one-sided bout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September, where Usyk won via unanimous decision in comfortable fashion, the pair are now relocating to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia for their rematch.

This could be a career defining or a career ending fight for Joshua against the big Ukrainian, so it’s vital he gets his game plan right and gets the job done.

Due to the defeat at the hands of Usyk at the backend of last year, the Brit’s record now stands at 24-2, with his other loss coming in a shock defeat against Andy Ruiz Jnr.

A third defeat in his last five fights and that may be curtains for Joshua at the top level of boxing.

Conversely, a knockout victory against Usyk and everything opens up for a re-energised Joshua.

A third fight against Usyk would certainly be on the cards, or a glamour fight against a returning Deontay Wilder. The ultimate, though, particularly for British boxing fans, would be to persuade Tyson Fury to come out of retirement for a clash for the ages.

Read more: Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: Date, Card, UK Start Time, Ring Walks, Tickets, Live Stream, Odds and More

Antony Joshua
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND – MAY 01: Anthony Joshua tapes his hands up prior to a training session during the Anthony Joshua Media Day at the English Institute of Sport on May 01, 2019 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

For the moment, Anthony Joshua’s focus is entirely on Usyk and from these pictures of him in training he looks in terrific shape.

Joshua’s physique has always been incredible and Adonis like, but there had been growing concerns that he had bulked out too much in recent fights.

That additional weight and muscle gives a little additional power, but at the cost of speed, and this has left Joshua looking sluggish.

His team have obviously identified this and tailored his training and diet to transform his physique.

A new leaner and hungrier Joshua will hope that that leads to a high speed and high energy performance next Saturday.

It’s certainly got boxing fans talking, though, with a lot of them liking the idea of Joshua coming in a lot slimmer than usual.

“Lightest I’ve seen him look as a pro,” one fan pointed out, whilst another stated “looks like he’s been working on speed and endurance.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he came in 235-240lbs,” one fan predicted.

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Where was Anthony Joshua born?

“I like this move to go in slimmer,” another said.

Whilst Joshua has been looking to cut weight, Usyk has gone the other way and he is carrying a reported extra 15Kg.

How these two competing strategies match up is just one of the interesting subplots of this much anticipated heavyweight bout.

The excitement grows.

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