Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2: Retirement 'definitely' on the cards for AJ (exclusive)

  • Tom Ward
Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Carl Froch

Carl Froch believes Anthony Joshua may retire from boxing should he lose to Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.

AJ will bid to win the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles from the undefeated Ukrainian in a do-or-die rematch in a few days’ time at the Jeddah Superdome.

The two will square off for the second time this weekend in the Middle East with plenty on the line for both.

A defeat for Joshua would mean three losses in his last five and two straight to the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.

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

When asked if Joshua could retire if he loses, Froch exclusively told GiveMeSport.com: “No absolutely, I think depending on how he loses retirement is definitely an option.

“He has been massively successful. He is financially secure. He has absolutely nailed it.

“He beat the Matrix. He’s smashed life hasn’t he? Look at what he’s done.

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2

“He’s worth an absolute fortune, he’s got his health, and he’s been a world champion.

“And, you know, he’s dared to be great, and one time he was great, he had all the belts.

“That win against Klitschko was amazing and he defended them a few times. It just started falling apart when he got beat by Ruiz. He’s trying to come back now and get back into it.

“I know he beat Ruiz in the rematch, got his belts back in the rematch, but since that loss to Ruiz I feel like something was taken away from him.

“It took a part of his belief – I don’t want to say his soul or his spirit because it’s probably a bit too deep – but I’ve not seen AJ doing anything since where I’m thinking to myself this guy is the type of guy that could beat someone like Tyson Fury.”

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Who was the first British fighter Oleksandr Usyk faced as a professional?

Usyk’s clash with Joshua, who he comfortably outclassed eleven months ago, will be his first outing since he beat him on points at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

The Ukrainian was allowed to leave the war effort after signing up to join the army, setting his sights on a second fight with Joshua and staying active in the gym.

And his intense training camp has resulted in him adding a considerable amount of muscle mass to his frame

However, Frochdoesn’t think that it will affect him too much, as he reckons he knows exactly what he’s doing.

“He might be thinking that if I put some weight on my punches are going to have a little more impact,” Froch added.

“But it’s the fast punches that hurt more, the timing of the punch, it’s not always the weight.

READ MORE: Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2: Boxing world predicts who will win the rematch

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“Look at Prince Naseem Hamed; what was he, a featherweight? He could punch like a heavyweight. Julian Jackson.

“You go over the history. You can either punch or you can’t and putting weight on doesn’t make you punch harder. Obviously there’s a bit more weight behind the punch but an actual hard punch doesn’t come from having bigger biceps or bigger lats or whatever.

“Usyk knows this. He’s not stupid. He’s a master.

“He’s got an honorary degree and how many masters’ degrees in boxing. He’s probably the most qualified professional boxer in every element of boxing. Maybe Floyd Mayweather might know a little bit more than him.”

Carl Froch will be part of Sky Sports’ coverage alongside Frazer Clarke and Dave Coldwell for the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua later this week. Watch the Usyk vs Joshua rematch on August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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