Monday, June 27, 2022

Joshua’s loss to Usyk ‘opened his eyes a little’

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

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

The Brit is set to fight Usyk again this summer to regain the belts and Clarke believes Joshua is well placed to avenge the loss.

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

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

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

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

Before dethroning Joshua, Usyk was the undisputed cruiserweight champion.

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

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said the governing body will not yet pressure Fury to clarify his future plans but the Briton would be forced to relinquish his title if he confirmed his retirement.

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