By Barry Holbrook: Mike Tyson says that former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is “no walkover” as he heads into his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk this summer on July 23rd.
Tyson feels that the US boxing fans have high expectations of the famous 2012 Olympic gold medalist Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs), and unfortunately, he’s fallen short a couple of times.
With Joshua’s new training team, he could be rejuvenated with a fresh approach to his nine-year professional career.
‘Iron’ Mike Tyson isn’t saying. Still, it’s believed that Joshua made a critical error in his loss to Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) last September by deviating from the aggressive style that has made him successful during his amateur & professional career.
In the rematch with Usyk, the 6’6″ Joshua will have the right set of circumstances to put it right by reverting to the all-out seek & destroy style of fighting that has made him so popular.
Joshua’s mistake by tinkering with his fighting style was similar to how Dillian Whyte came out in a southpaw stance in his title fight last Saturday night against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Joshua hurts himself in the same way, believing he should try & box Usyk instead of using his superior size, strength & speed to beat the highly technical undefeated fighter from Ukraine.
“Anthony Joshua’s no walkover. It’s just that for some reason, I don’t know, we expect a lot from Joshua,” said Mike Tyson on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson.
“I guess maybe because English people are so behind him and we got caught up in the bandwagon too. Americans expect a lot out of Joshua.”
Some boxing fans believe that Joshua was mentally & physically shot from his loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019.
Since that defeat, Joshua has looked passive, timid, and lacking the swagger he once had in his subsequent fights against Ruiz, Kubrat Pulev, and Usyk.
To be sure, when Joshua is fighting aggressively, he’s nearly unbeatable.
In his shocking seventh-round knockout defeat at the hands of the 269-lb Ruiz, Joshua got caught with a big left hook from the badly hurt American moments after knocking him down in the third round at Madison Square Garden in New York.
If Joshua hadn’t gotten careless while going for the finish of Ruiz, he would have likely stopped him in that round by carefully picking a pinpoint knockout blow.
In the rematch with Usyk, Joshua will need to play to his strengths by going after him with his power game.
It still won’t be easy for Joshua because Usyk is quite evasive like Tyson Fury, and it will require constant pressure from AJ to get to him.
Joshua can turn things around in his rematch with Usyk, but it’s going to take a dedicated approach by him to accomplish that.
It’s fair to say that if Joshua tries to box Usyk again, he could get knocked out this time because the Ukrainian knows how to beat him.