Anthony Joshua has promised to bring back the aggression into his boxing when he faces off against Oleksandr Usyk in their title rematch on Saturday, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Joshua admitted that last September when they fought, the mindset was to outbox his opponents, whoever it was, and now, he is fully focused on “smashing.”
“I wanted to outbox my opponent, whether it was Usyk or anyone els; that was the mindset (in the first fight). I wanted to outbox my opponent and on Saturday I want to smash my opponent,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.
“That’s just the mindset now.”
He also acknowledged that a high intensity, destructive approach had been a key factor for so much of the early successes in his career.
“I was amateur for three and a half years and I done a lot in that time and I asked myself how? It wasn’t down to the skill element, because I was outclassed in terms of skill and experience by a lot of my competitors on the world scene, but that aggression,” he said.
“That will was something that couldn’t be denied. Then as you get more experience you try to develop as a rounded athlete. But ultimately, you can’t take your eye off the factor of what got you to where you are which is that aggressiveness.”
In that form, Joshua will now bring back that former self for this weekend’s fight with Usyk.
“It’s never really been lost. The path is always there. It’s not like I’m trying to rediscover a path. I always understand where that is. I just tried to be more elusive and add more strings to my bow,” he said.
“I was focusing more on different things in my career, for example having a better jab, hitting and not getting hit. You’ve got to focus on that aggressive aspect, that competitive spirit and at the end of the day, I don’t give a damn about your jab, I don’t care how good that jab is, I don’t care how good this is. I don’t care how good you are – my competitive spirit will overcome all obstacles.
“That is something you should never neglect in your search for improvements. Your competitive nature can take you a long way.”
Joshua promises to be back with a vengeance against Usyk this time.
Victory in this rematch would see Joshua recover the WBO, WBA and IBF titles he lost to Usyk in September. But even then he would not consider himself the best heavyweight in the world, not without fighting Tyson Fury.
“Unless he’s 100 per cent retired, you’ve got to beat Fury as well,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.
“This isn’t about Fury, with all due respect. That’s just my view on that. As it stands you’re just a winner, you’re a winner at the end of the day. There’s always another challenge out there.
“Until you retire, you’re always going to be challenged to prove you’re the best in the world. The minute you say you’re the best, is the minute you should pack up. That’s enough on that Tyson Fury situation.”