Floyd Mayweather has explained how Oleksandr Usyk’s low-key preparations help him hold a crucial advantage over Anthony Joshua.
Joshua was defeated by Usyk in September this year losing by a wide points margin and handing his unified titles to the brilliant Ukrainian.
Now he will face a redemption mission next year when he will face his new rival in a rematch after activating the clause in the initial contract.
Former pound-for-pound king Mayweather believes that Usyk did not cause an “upset” despite holding a lower profile going into the fight.
“That was not an upset,” said Mayweather when speaking to a group of assembled reporters.
“It was just that, Anthony Joshua was on TV. Everybody seen him. Usyk was a hell of a fighter, a gold medallist if I’m not mistaken but he was behind the scenes.
“Two guys with crazy amateur backgrounds and one guy is not being seen and another guy is being seen, then we call it an upset. No, it’s just that he was working behind the scenes and another guy was working in front of everybody. Finally, they had to meet up and Anthony Joshua came up short.”
Joshua faced high scrutiny from several inside the sport as a result of his weight where he came in to the mandatory defence significantly lighter.
His plan was to outbox Usyk in a similar vein to his rematch victory over Andy Ruiz earlier in his career.
But he put in a lacklustre performance and was outclassed by the tricky Ukrainian who prevailed by unanimous decision and could have scored a late stoppage of his own.
Now Joshua must focus on a rematch that will likely be held in the early stages of next year with the UK and Middle East touted as potential venues.
‘AJ’ has been spotted in America where he was plotting an addition to his coaching team and drew up a four-man shortlist.
The 32-year-old was also working with a fifth trainer in Anthony Wilson during his festive break in Dubai.
Joshua has been seen to be fired up when talking about his revenge mission against Usyk and has showed a bullish attitude to those dismissing his achievements.
His British rival Tyson Fury’s father John believes his resolute attitude will help carry him to a rematch victory later this year.
“It’s business boxing and I do believe AJ wants to fight Usyk, that’s why he asked for £40 million. I’d ask for £70 million, so good luck AJ,” he told iFL TV.
“But I do believe AJ wants to avenge his loss and he can bounce back, he’s proved it. In AJ’s case now it’s not about the money, it’s more of a pride thing with him.
“I don’t blame the lad, I’ve had a lot of good nights with him. He’s a brilliant athlete, let’s not kick a man whilst he’s down because he’s better than that.”