LONDON — Anthony Joshua has promised a spectacular knockout of mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk after revealing he has been studying fabled Kronk Gym trainer Emanuel Steward during his training camp.
Joshua puts his WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles on the line at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night in the second defense of the belts since regaining them against Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2019.
It has been suggested that Usyk, a former undisputed champion at cruiserweight, represents the toughest challenge of Joshua’s career so far, even eclipsing his compatriot Wladimir Klitschko who Joshua stopped at Wembley four years ago.
But at his pre-fight press conference here at the stadium, just a few yards from where the duo will collide on Saturday night, Joshua predicted that he will make Usyk the 23rd man on his list of professional knockouts.
“I feel better now than I did going into the Klitschko fight,” Joshua said.
“It’s not about nerves, but I’m just more experienced, and I know what I’m doing. I know what I’m going to do — I just know — a knockout.
“That’s what I’m here to do — put on a spectacular show. People want to see knockouts. That’s what we’ve got to deliver for the fans.
“It’s Kronk style. I’ve been watching a lot of certain things — I like Emanuel Steward’s mindset. Obviously you have to do your ABCs, but if you follow them you get to KO.”
During the build-up to the clash, Joshua has appeared leaner than usual, which has led to suggestions that Joshua may look to outbox Usyk in a distance fight rather than press for an early finish.
But the Londoner, who grew up a short tube ride away from Tottenham in Watford, says history proves that extra weight does not necessarily equate to success in the heavyweight division.
And Joshua opened up about his admiration for Steward, who famously guided the likes of Tommy Hearns to world titles in multiple weights with a focus on developing fight-ending punch power.
He added: “Let’s look back — Razor Ruddock, Lennox Lewis, Mike Weaver, Ray Mercer. They all weighed about 100kg. I’m no different to these guys and you lot all rave about how great they were.
“But I’m no different — I’m actually closer to these guys [in weight]. I’ve just tried to replicate how Emanuel Steward tried to train his champions.
“I love watching great trainers and figuring out the best way to improve as a fighter and once I do that my body just takes form.
“This fight gave me the motivation to practice against a really good fighter so I’ve had fun in camp.
“The last place I would want to be right now is facing myself. I’m not an easy fight for anyone. I love fighting, God has blessed me and shown me the path to get into boxing.
“I don’t fight good fights to get people to respect me, but if you tell me to fight King Kong, I’d give it a go.
“This is my job — I’m just going to work. These are the best days of my life.”
Source: Read Full Article