Anthony Joshua ‘solid as a rock’ at new lighter weight ahead of Oleksandr Usyk fight

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Anthony Joshua has slimmed down for Saturday’s fight  (Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)
Anthony Joshua has slimmed down for Saturday’s fight (Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing)

British boxer Anthony Joshua insists he will be “solid as a rock” against Oleksandr Usyk on 25 September despite being at a lighter weight.

Joshua says now he’s lighter he will be able to deal with the threats Usyk will pose and the tactic has worked for the heavyweight champion previously.

He slimmed down for his rematch against Andy Ruiz Jr after the American stripped him of his titles in 2019. The 31-year-old came back to deliver a clinical performance which saw him reclaim his belts.

When asked about his weight ahead of Usyk, Joshua said: “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.

“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 will once again be risking his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles and he added he expects a tough fight, one that could replicate his bout with Wladimir Klitschko.

“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,” Joshua added. “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.”

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