Anthony Joshua’s sparring partner predicts how ‘smart’ Oleksandr Usyk fight will pan out

Anthony Joshua announces fight with Oleksandr Usyk

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Anthony Joshua’s sparring partner praised the world heavyweight champion and predicted the Briton will defeat Oleksandr Usyk in their bout this weekend. Joshua is gearing up to fight Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.

The Brit, whose WBA, WBa, IBF and IBO world titles will be on the line against the Ukrainian, has not fought since his win over Kubrat Pulev in December 2020.

He is nearing the end of an intense camp that saw the 31-year-old become much leaner as he has seemingly opted for speed against Usyk. 

Croatian amateur boxer Marko Milun was brought into Joshua’s camp after being approached on social media.

“It has been a dream come true to be involved in Joshua’s camp,” the 24-year-old told Betway Insider.

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“I was just watching TV and then I had a message on Instagram asking me to come spar with AJ, I said: ‘of course’. 

“In the ring, Joshua is very clever and smart. He knows what to do and he does it in the right way, he does everything in the right way. 

“I grew a lot in the time I spent with him, learnt a lot of things that I did not know. Working with Angel Fernandez and Joby Clayton, they made me a little better. 

“AJ for me was very surprising, he was very humble. He was like a guy from the local club, not the heavyweight champion, he spoke to us like a normal person. That surprised me.”

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Joshua has not fought since December 2020, when a ninth-round knockout win over Kubrat Pulev pushed his record to 24-1.

Milun expressed why he thought Joshua had chosen the Croatian as a sparring partner, suggesting that he has a similar style to Usyk.

“I think he chose me and other amateurs as sparring partners because he needed guys similar to Usyk,” Milun added.

“Usyk fights like an amateur boxer more than a normal professional and maybe that’s why he wanted me and Viktor Jurk and other amateurs, the only professional in camp was Shokran Parwani when I was there.

“I saw in camp that AJ is really smart and he does the right things and I think he’ll win this fight. Usyk is also smart but I think AJ has better qualities; he’s bigger, stronger and can punch harder. 

“He has worked hard for this and I think he’ll beat him. AJ will be at home, the crowd will be behind him and my prediction is AJ will win comfortably. 

“But I will tell you that this will be a smart fight, not a war.”

The 31-year-old Joshua admitted he is both mentally and physically drained from his intense 10-week camp ahead of the clash with the Ukrainian, although he has acknowledged it is part of achieving perfection in his craft. 

Joshua clashes with Usyk in their world heavyweight title bout on September 25.

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