Anthony Joshua: 10 years since Olympic gold
On this day 10 years ago Anthony Joshua claimed Olympic super heavyweight gold at London 2012.August 12 marks 10 years since AJ set his pursuit of world title stardom in motion as he clinched Olympic super heavyweight gold with victory over Roberto Cammarelle at London 2012.
Oleksandr Usyk appears to have packed on muscle mass for his rematch with Anthony Joshua, live on Sky Sports Box Office this Saturday.
Usyk is the smaller man who, though previously an undisputed champion at 200lbs, stepped up in weight to upset Joshua last year. Oleksandr Usyk. (Photo: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing)
In September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London he handled Joshua's advantages in height and reach in their first fight, but the signs are he has piled on more bulk for the rematch.
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British star Amir Khan saw Usyk in camp in Dubai as he prepared for Saturday's showdown.
Joshua vows not to repeat 'CRAZY' tactics that saw him lose to Usyk
Anthony Joshua has warned Oleksandr Usyk that he will be fighting an AJ as different from their first bout as the new venue in the desert is from their original battleground in north London. But Usyk, who took Joshua’s world titles in that fight, shrugs and says: ‘He will find that I too will be a different fighter here in Saudi Arabia.’Nothing, it appears, in sun-baked old Jeddah will be the same as it was in the autumnal chill of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Khan claimed: "He put on an extra 15kgs and looked tremendous."
Usyk himself has not actually revealed how much extra weight he might have added to his frame. That will only be determined at the weigh-in on Friday.
The champion's conditioning certainly made an impression on Khan, though. "After seeing him work out, he impressed me," Khan said.
"Usyk looked in great shape. He said he's focused and ready and is very confident."
Putting on extra weight does have implications for Saturday's fight. It was Usyk's speed, movement and agility that were so crucial in last year's victory over Joshua.
The contest this weekend then will be unpredictable. "Hard to say, 50-50 who wins," Khan added.
Former cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson believes it indicates both fighters will be going for a knockout.
Usyk ‘looking like a cyborg’ after intense camp for AJ rematch
Usyk has trained “like a cyborg” for Saturday's rematch with Anthony Joshua, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 now! Usyk returned to Ukraine when Russia invaded his country.
"The fact that it looks like he's coming in heavier, will that be a detriment to his style? I think it will," Nelson said.
"As a cruiserweight he had everyone's number, as a heavyweight he's going through trying to find his feet. Yes, he beat Anthony Joshua, he struggled but got the win with Derek Chisora. Now he's filled out even more, will he have the same movement, fluidity, speed? Will he be able to keep that up for 12 rounds? I've never seen him fighting, boxing, looking so heavy.
"His movement and agility has been his godsend so now, things have changed he might be a bit more flatfooted, he might punch harder.
"Naturally, Anthony Joshua is the bigger guy out of the two of them. So now Usyk has artificially put that weight on to challenge Joshua and it looks like both fighters are going for the knockout."
Anthony Joshua's huge heavyweight rematch against Oleksandr Usyk is on Saturday August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!
Whyte: AJ needs to be dirty | 'I want Joshua next'
Dillian Whyte says he hopes Anthony Joshua beats Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday - because he wants him next!Calls for an aggressive, imposing AJ have been a familiar theme throughout the build-up to the fight, with Usyk braced for a contrasting challenge to a first meeting in which Joshua's efforts to outbox the Ukrainian fell short.
Oleksandr Usyk © Associated Press Usyk relies on speed and reflexes. Will extra weight have slowed him down?
Wilder: Usyk too small for Fury | 'With more stamina, AJ could have won!' .
Deontay Wilder wants to see Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk, and to get the Anthony Joshua fight himself.Usyk first beat Joshua in September of last year and, after a protracted wait to complete the fight, handed the Briton another points loss with a decisive performance at the weekend, even if one of the judges ruled surprisingly against him to make it a split decision verdict.