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Boxing Match: Joe Joyce asserts that Anthony Joshua must "fight toe to toe" with Oleksandr Usyk to win the rematch
Boxing Match: Joe Joyce asserts that Anthony Joshua must "fight toe to toe" with Oleksandr Usyk to win the rematch
Boxing Match: Joe Joyce asserts that Anthony Joshua must "fight toe to toe" with Oleksandr Usyk to win the rematch
Boxing Boxing Match: Joe Joyce asserts that Anthony Joshua must "fight toe to...

Boxing Match: Joe Joyce asserts that Anthony Joshua must “fight toe to toe” with Oleksandr Usyk to win the rematch

Boxing Match: Anthony Joshua needs to “become an offensive fighter” once more to defeat Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch, according to heavyweight contender Joe Joyce.

As an amateur boxer, Joyce faced up against both Joshua and Usyk. At the English Institute of Sport, Joyce and Joshua engaged in numerous rounds of sparring when Joyce was a member of the GB team.

In addition, he is the top contender for the WBO heavyweight championship, one of the three belts Usyk and Joshua will square off for on August 20. Joe Joyce becomes a curious onlooker of their rematch as a result.

The Londoner does tip Usyk to win, though added, “Unless Joshua can really change his style and also become an offensive fighter again.

“When we were on the GB squad I always used to like going toe to toe with him, that used to be fun. But then all of a sudden he was kind of a bit more [on the] back foot.

“[Against Usyk] he seemed very tidy in his technique and his footwork and everything. But he was trying to outbox Usyk. Maybe it was Usyk that was keeping him away. But he seemed very clinical. He could have roughed him up a bit more inside and took a few chances with pot shots.”

“Especially with the (Andy) Ruiz Jr rematch he probably went into that defensive on the back foot [mode],” Joyce said.

“[He] was kind of scared to engage. I guess rightly so because he must have seen the shadow of Ruiz putting him down. Even (Wladimir) Klitschko put him down and he was in trouble for a whole round when they fought. Klitschko, if he’d been more an offensive fighter, he could have taken him out there.”

Joyce worries that a second time around, even more aggression might not be sufficient to defeat Usyk.

“[Usyk] already knew what to do in the first fight, he went straight to work. So this fight he’s already beaten him. So he knows exactly what to do again. He’s probably three, four moves ahead of him,” Joyce suggested. “So it’s a tough one.”

When the Londoner boxed Usyk over five rounds in the World Series of Boxing tournament that year, he saw firsthand how skilled the Ukrainian was.

“He was slipping my shots. I could have been more effective with a double jab and he was easily slipping my punches and moving his feet but I gave it all I got,” Joyce said.

“I was landing some big shots with him as well. It wasn’t one-sided. It was quite a close fight, I thought, and I definitely put up a better fight than Joshua, I think.”

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