Anthony Joshua has insisted he’s ‘solid as a rock’ after slimming down for his fight against Oleksandr Usyk. Britain’s world heavyweight champion first altered his weight and his fighting style since suffering his first defeat as a professional against Andy Ruiz Jr back in 2019.
Ahead of his next fight with Usyk, AJ is likely going to stick to a box-and-move game plan when he defends his WBA, WBO, having prepared to show up in lean shape. Questions have been raised about Joshua’s new slimmed down physique but the 31-year-old has dismissed the talks, insisting that he’s ‘strong’ and is a superior fighter at a lower weight. Asked about his shape, Joshua sarcastically replied: ‘I’m going to come in light. Run around the ring, try not to get hit.
‘I’ll be on my bike all night. I don’t want to get out of 140 heartbeats per minute, so I’m really skinny.’
He continued: ‘Listen, I’m as solid as a rock. I’m strong, I’m good at the weight. I don’t really focus on my weight. It’s just training. I just put in the work. These are different opponents and I’ve learnt about training for specific opponents. These guys go longer rounds.
‘When you’re knocking out guys in three or four rounds, it’s different. I studied boxing and what works for me and weight is not a priority.’
Joshua is expected to try and outbox and outmaneuver Usyk and will look to produce fireworks like he did the last time he faced Wladimir Klitschko.
He added: ‘For me it was just a good time, a good fight. Will we top that? Maybe. Let’s see if Usyk wants to go down that route. Let’s see if he can put me in some adversity and if I can put him in some adversity. As you saw with the Ruiz fight, even though it was a tough night I just kept getting up. I’ll always get up on my feet and try to fight. I’ll always give you entertaining nights.’