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‘If he wasn’t a southpaw I’d have smoked him!’ – Anthony Joshua claims he didn’t attempt to knock out Oleksandr Usyk

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The dethroned champ wished to outpoint and outbox the Ukrainian (Photos: Getty)

Anthony Joshua has sensationally claimed that he didn’t try to throw any energy punches in opposition to Oleksandr Usyk of their first combat and ‘would have smoked him’ if he wasn’t a southpaw.

The Ukrainian placed on a boxing masterclass on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September of final yr, dominating his opponent over 12 punishing rounds – and really almost knocking him out simply earlier than the ultimate bell.

They face off in a long-awaited rematch in Jeddah on Saturday night time, with Joshua seeking to win again his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight belts.

AJ was criticised for his method within the first bout, failing to utilise his measurement and weight benefit and making an attempt to outbox and outpoint his smaller opponent.

And he has now admitted that he bought his gameplan utterly improper, even claiming he had no intention of injuring or knocking out Usyk in London, however will take a really totally different method in Saudi Arabia.

Talking to the Daily Mail, Joshua mentioned: ‘It sounds loopy however I’m not going to lie. My goal was by no means to harm him, to land damaging punches.

‘My intention was to go the complete 12 rounds and show I might field in addition to he does. To land scoring punches.

Usyk and Joshua’s rematch is only a few days away (Image: Getty)

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‘However I didn’t work exhausting sufficient to arrange for a 12-round combat at that tempo. I wasn’t in the proper mind-set, that of eager to go in there and smash him.

‘Utilizing my measurement and energy this time is obvious, isn’t it? However to work on it’s simpler mentioned than carried out.

‘Coaching camps are so difficult. So draining. So brain-fatiguing. I must be higher conditioned.

‘I would like changes to cope with a southpaw as a result of to me these lefties are a nightmare. I swear that if Oleksandr wasn’t a lefty I’d have smoked him. 100 per cent.’

Joshua has switched trainers from Rob McCracken to Robert Garcia and says he has handed over management of his programme and technique, having beforehand taken the lead on how he wished to method fights and what he wished to work on.

He defined: ‘With Rob at Uni (his camp at Loughborough) we might stroll into the fitness center and do skipping, shadow boxing, pads and the luggage. He would say issues like “arms up” or “slip there”.

‘Robert breaks issues down extra. In a single spherical of sparring I’m informed to “good that f***ing jab”. In one other spherical, to tilt extra when throwing the large proper hand. It’s extra tactical (to cope with a southpaw). Reasoning to the tactic. It’s loads to recollect.

‘So I’ve handed over management. I used to spell out the 2 or three issues I wished to work on. Now I hear. Absorb info like a sponge. Let my guys make the selections.’

MORE : Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: Date, location, and how to watch in the UK

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MORE : ‘I wouldn’t take his help’ – Anthony Joshua responds to Tyson Fury’s offer to train him for Oleksandr Usyk rematch

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