Boxing News: In order for Anthony Joshua to defeat Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday and recapture his heavyweight world titles, Dillian Whyte argues that his former foe needs rekindle the viciousness that propelled him to the top of the sport in the first place.
As Usyk prepared for a different challenge from their previous encounter, in which Joshua’s attempts to outbox the Ukrainian were unsuccessful, calls for an aggressive, imposing AJ has been a recurring theme throughout the build-up to the fight.
More notably, the 2015 vicious grudge bout between Whyte and the Olympic gold medalist has prompted calls for the athlete to recapture the courage and forward assurance he showed in that contest.
“It’s a massive fight, the biggest fight of his career,” Whyte told Sky Sports. “I do expect him to bounce back, he’s a British fighter like me and I only support our own, so I do hope he gets the job done.
“It’s good for me if he wins as well.
“I can understand that [rediscovering his aggressive side] because I’m of the same mindset as well. In my last fight [against Tyson Fury] I wasn’t as aggressive as I normally am, I’ve said the same thing to myself, I need to rediscover that aggression.
“I think it’s the right mindset he needs going into the fight, it’s the only way he wins the fight.”
Whyte downplayed the potential impact of Robert Garcia, a new coach, and emphasised that Joshua will ultimately decide the outcome of the match.
“I honestly don’t think that will make much of a difference,” Whyte said. “He’s the one that needs to make the decision, be dirty and be nasty.”
Joshua is no stranger to exacting revenge, but whereas he used a precise, methodical approach to reclaim his heavyweight title against Andy Ruiz, it seems like he cannot afford to use the same strategy against Usyk.
However, given that Usyk appears to have bulked up since the initial battle, it is unclear what kind of Usyk will be on exhibit.
“When we fought, we fought twice, both fights we had there was a lot of aggression between me and him in the fight, that’s the difference between fighting me and fighting Usyk, that aggression wasn’t there,” added Whyte. “He was sort of trying to outbox someone who has been boxing for 25/30 years.
“I believe if he revisits that aggression he had for me he does a much better job and probably beats Usyk and knocks him out this time.
“Me and him are similar in a lot of ways, we come forward and throw a lot of punches, are aggressive and enforce ourselves on our opponents, I think they’ll be trying to get him back to that.”
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