Anthony Joshua’s defeat by Oleksandr Usyk ‘opened his eyes a bit’, says training partner

‘AJ’ is set to take on the unbeaten Ukrainian again this summer in a bid to regain his heavyweight titles

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Tuesday 17 May 2022 10:27
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Anthony Joshua reflects on Oleksandr Usyk loss and previews rematch

Anthony Joshua is ‘better’ because of his loss to Oleksandr Usyk, according to “AJ”’s old training partner Frazer Clarke.

Joshua was outpointed by Usyk in London last September, losing the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles to the unbeaten Ukrainian in the process.

The Briton is set to fight Usyk again this summer in a bid to regain the belts, and Clarke believes that Joshua is well positioned to avenge the loss.

Clarke, an Olympic medal-winner for Team GB like Joshua, has trained with the two-time heavyweight champion throughout their careers and told Sky Sports: “I think the loss has made him better. He’s opened his eyes a bit.

“It’s made him mentally better. I think he knows what he needs to do. I think he’s changed his situation, which he thinks will help him.

“He’s got a team of people that are dedicated for one thing, and that’s AJ getting the result.

“You can’t write Usyk off, he’s an unbelievable fighter, but I’d like to think AJ’s in a place where he can go on and get this win.”

Prior to dethroning Joshua, Usyk was undisputed cruiserweight champion.

The winner of the pair’s rematch could take on Tyson Fury to crown an undisputed heavyweight champion, though Fury has said that his successful WBC title defence against Dillian Whyte in April was his last fight.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has said the governing body will not put pressure on Fury to clarify his future plans just yet, but the Briton would be forced to relinquish his title if he were to confirm his retirement.

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