Evander Holyfield gives advice to Anthony Joshua ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch

  • Tom Ward
Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk, Evander Holyfield

Evander Holyfield thinks Anthony Joshua will defeat Oleksandr Usyk in their upcoming rematch if he fights him like he’s his big brother.

The British superstar has the chance to avenge his defeat in Saudi Arabia this Saturday from eleven months ago when the pair fought at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September.

AJ was heavily criticised for trying to match the crafty Usyk for boxing skills which resulted in him losing his heavyweight titles for a second time.

And Holyfield, who himself avenged two of his most famous defeats, against Riddick Bowe and Michael Moorer, to put himself back on track, has urged Joshua to use his physical attributes to his advantage as the fight draws near.

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

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “He has to fight like a big guy. He can’t sit there and tag with this guy, he’s got to hit him with big shots.

“If you got a little brother. If you try to keep up, he moves too much, you’ve got to grab him and put all that weight on him and let him feel that you’re the stronger one and this is a big guy fight and there isn’t no way he can beat you in a big guy fight.

“I know both of the guys are capable of winning, it’s just who does it that night when the pressure happens. The fact of the matter is how a person thinks. I knew what my thinking was going to be in there.

Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk go head-to-head in Saudi Arabia on Saturday
Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk go head-to-head in Saudi Arabia on Saturday

“I always said that every guy that got the best of me was a guy lighter than me with fast hands, I sat there watching. But that’s what big guys used to do when they were in front of me, I was so good they sat there watching and then the fight is over.

“It ain’t impossible [for Joshua], all it takes is one shot with him. The point of the matter – is he going to be aggressive enough to go out and do it?”

When Usyk famously crowned himself the heavyweight king after beating Joshua last September in London, it marked an incredible journey for the Ukrainian.

Having had a hugely successful amateur career, he became the undisputed cruiserweight world champion in Russia in 2018 and then defended his belts against Tony Bellew before making the move up to heavyweight.

Like Usyk, Holyfield also has previous experience of this. However, he insists that it isn’t as easy as it seems.

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Holyfield added: “I wouldn’t say it’s easy, because you’ve got to take away everything necessary to be a fighter.

“The art of the game is boxing and the boxer is going to have the advantage all the time unless he gets knocked out.

“That’s what boxers do – box. And boxing is ‘you’re going to hit that guy more times than that guy is going to hit you’, and if it goes the distance you’re going to out-point them.

“But if you’re a big puncher, what can a big puncher do? I’m going to get you out of there.”

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