Anthony Joshua is slated to face Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch on July 23 in the Middle East.
In September, Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) lost for the second time in his career when he dropped his WBO, WBA, IBF, and IBO heavyweight titles to Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) in a unanimous decision.
Joshua is trained by longtime coach Rob McCracken. In recent months, Joshua has made visits and trained with the likes of Eddy Reynoso, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Robert Garcia, Ronnie Shields, and Virgil Hunter, among others.
Heading into the sequel, the British boxer intends to have a more focused strategy and approach to taking on Usyk.
“This is the first time in my career I’d say we are specifically working on a game plan,” Joshua said during a speaking engagement with the Oxford Union. “I’ve based a lot of my success on raw ability, but the raw ability wasn’t enough, so now I’m going to try out this game plan training and see how it goes. I plan to go back to the basics and take this guy out.”
The Usyk rematch will be the second time Joshua will attempt to avenge a loss.
In June 2019, Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked Joshua by dropping him four times and eventually stopping him in the seventh round.
Later that year, Joshua faced Ruiz again and scored a wide unanimous decision.
“I always said, who am I without the belts? Even when sitting here, I’m not a champion right now. Even when I took that hit [to Ruiz], it started unfolding that championship status. I wasn’t the champion anymore; I’d already prepared myself for the stumbling blocks of the game that I’m in,” said Joshua.
“It’s about rebuilding, staying strong, and staying championship mindset, even though you don’t have the titles. Even in taking that knock, it’s just part of the journey I’m on.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.