Anthony Joshua is on a war path ahead of his blockbuster rematch with Oleksandr Usyk as the British star attempts to regain the WBO, WBA and IBF heavyweight titles he lost to the Ukrainian in September.

Usyk outclassed the Londoner during their first meeting and came close to finishing the fight late on. Joshua is intent on doing things differently when the pair meet again in Jeddah this weekend.

“I do want to do him harm this time, despite all my respect for what he has done in the war in Ukraine. I do know that if I use my elements of height and strength I will have a better chance of winning,” said the former champ.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Matchroom Boxing (@matchroomboxing)

Big upset

Joshua has only one other loss on his record. The boxing icon was knocked out by Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2018 in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.

The rematch took place a year later in Saudi Arabia with the Englishman winning back his titles via unanimous decision. The 32-year-old would no doubt be pleased if he can repeat the trick against Usyk, but admits the defeat in their first encounter has weighed heavy during his wait for retribution,

“It has been a nightmare just sitting on this loss for so many months,” explained the former Olympic gold medalist.

“The time-frame does change every day. I have dedicated a lot of my life to a very tough sport. I will do this for as long as I can but I think I’m quite smart at business now. I will be 33 shortly and a lot will come down to how long my body can hang on,” he added.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @anthonyjoshua

Different approach

Joshua saying he means to do harm to his opponent on this occasion is a departure from his approach and explained how his game plan went awry 11 months ago,

“It sounds crazy but I’m not going to lie. My objective was never to hurt him, to land damaging punches. My aim was to go the full 12 rounds and prove I could box as well as he does. To land scoring punches.”

Joshua admits he cut corners in preparation for the fight,

“I didn’t work hard enough to prepare for a 12 round fight at that pace. I wasn’t in the right mind-set, that of wanting to go in there and smash him. Using my size and power this time is evident, isn’t it? But to work on it is easier said than done.”

He also admitted that he struggles with southpaws,

“I need adjustments to deal with a southpaw because to me these lefties are a nightmare. I swear that if Oleksandr wasn’t a lefty I would have smoked him. 100%.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @anthonyjoshua

Better conditioned

It sounds like Joshua’s fight camp ahead of that first fight was far from ideal,

“Training camps are so challenging. So draining. So brain-fatiguing. I need to be better conditioned.”

With the loss to Usyk he saw all hope of a money spinning all British heavyweight fight with Tyson Fury evaporate. It was a costly defeat for Joshua in more ways than one.

But he has the opportunity to avenge it at the King Abdullah Sports Centre in Jeddah this weekend. The 32 year old will be hoping to do just that.