Anthony Joshua is not at same level as Oleksandr Usyk with Brit ‘regressing since fighting Wladimir Klitschko’


ANTHONY JOSHUA won’t be able to “make the adjustments” required to win his do-or-die rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

The Watford warrior, 32, will bid to reclaim the unified heavyweight titles from the slick southpaw a week on Saturday in a high-stakes Saudi showdown.

Anthony Joshua will renew his rivalry with Oleksandr Usyk a week on Saturday

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Anthony Joshua will renew his rivalry with Oleksandr Usyk a week on SaturdayCredit: GETTY
AJ suffered a lopsided points defeat to the Ukrainian last September

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AJ suffered a lopsided points defeat to the Ukrainian last SeptemberCredit: REUTERS
And boxing promoter Dmitry Salita reckons the Brit has regressed over the last five years

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And boxing promoter Dmitry Salita reckons the Brit has regressed over the last five yearsCredit: GETTY

AJ has brought in a new head coach to try to get the better of Usyk second time around, although boxing promoter Dmitry Salita doesn’t believe the addition of Robert Garcia will guide the Brit to victory.

He told Boyle Sports: “Usyk is the better fighter and I just don’t see how AJ can make the adjustments to beat Usyk, I don’t see it.

“Usyk is a very experienced fighter, had a tremendous amateur career, and is an Olympic gold medalist.

“He has been taught the science of boxing as a kid and really knows boxing like a scientist, on a scientific level.

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“He’s a boxing master, one of the most educated boxers in the world, maybe even of all time.

“He’s really, really well educated in terms of the sweet science.”

Joshua axed former long-time trainer and pal Rob McCracken in the wake of his lopsided points defeat to Usyk last September.

But Salita believes the former unified heavyweight champ’s skills have been on the decline for the last FIVE YEARS.

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He said: “This isn’t to take anything away from AJ, he’s a great fighter and did some amazing things in his career, but when he beat [Wladimir] Klitschko that was the peak of his career.

“And after that, he’s been progressively slipping down just a little bit every fight.

“Ever since the day that AJ was supposed to fight Jarrell Miller but he fought Ruiz, he’s been on the way down.

“Even in his last win against Pulev he looked okay, but he did not look great and did not look like the old AJ.”

Joshua tried to outbox former undisputed cruiserweight king Usyk in their Tottenham tussle but paid the price for trying to outfox the smooth operator.

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But he’s vowed not to make the same mistake the desert dust-up, saying: “The goal now is to go back to basics and go for the knockout.

“I always feel, when I’m sparring or fighting people, I actually see their spirit get dampened.

“Honestly, when you’re looking at this person directly in their eyes and watching their body, you can read the body and punch after punch this person is slowly fading.

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“Now when you’re boxing, the art of boxing is to hit and not get hit. So you’re kind of boxing to stay away. That’s not really my style.

“My style is to be up close and personal and make it difficult for the person. So that’s the game plan.”

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