Anthony Joshua is ‘angry’ and wants to ‘bash up’ Oleksandr Usyk in rematch, says Eddie Hearn

Joshua was well beaten by Usyk in their September fight

Sports Staff
Wednesday 10 November 2021 13:05
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<p>Eddie Hearn is Anthony Joshua’s promoter (Zac Goodwin/PA)</p>

Eddie Hearn is Anthony Joshua’s promoter (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Anthony Joshua wants to “bash up” Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch this coming spring, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.

Joshua was well beaten by Usyk in their September fight, losing his heavyweight world titles in the process, and knows that victory in the rematch is crucial or else he faces a long road back to the top. The 32-year-old has been doing some soul-searching in America, meeting a series of potential new trainers as looks to revitalise his career, and his promoter believes this new, “angry” Joshua is desperate to atone for his previous defeat.

“Everything I hear from him tells me that he wants to win badly and bash Usyk up, which I didn’t hear any of going into the first fight,” Hearn told Betfred TV. “He’s angry, which is good.”

Joshua has been contact with a number of trainers in America, including a two-day visit to Mike Tysons’ former trainer Ronnie Shields in Texas, and Hearn believes a change of scenery would be beneficial.

“Robert McCracken is more than just a trainer to AJ. He’s a friend. He’s a mentor. He’s an advisor,” Hearn said. “I think a change of scenery for AJ is sometimes good. I think it was refreshing for him when he went over to America recently.

“Going from getting mobbed wherever he is in the UK to that not happening. I’m not saying people don’t know him in America, but it’s different to not being able to walk around here. You’re getting photographed everywhere and the thing with AJ is that he’s got time for everybody. That can be extra draining. Sometimes he’s taken half an hour’s worth of photographs before he’s even got into training.

“There are fine margins between success and failure and those little percentages of rest relate to that. He’s had 14 years in Sheffield now. It’s an incredible facility, but he is God there. The amateurs look up to him and his picture is everywhere. I say we have to go rough and rugged but he’s got to have that challenger mentality in this fight and he’s got it. No decision has been made yet but I do think a change of scenery would be good for him in terms of where his training camp’s based.”

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