Oleksandr Usyk has hit back at criticism of Anthony Joshua’s tactics in response to criticism of his opponent’s lacklustre performance.
On September 25, the Ukrainian put on a boxing masterclass to rip the unified heavyweight titles from his clutches and emerged victorious by unanimous decision.
The former world champion has come under heavy fire from pundits and fans alike for his reluctance to pull the trigger, with AJ’s trainer Rob McCracken at the centre of most of the flak after giving him some questionable advice in the corner during his second career defeat
Mercurial British rival Tyson Fury has also publicly questioned McCracken’s tactics, saying Joshua ‘ ran out of ideas after a few rounds’. WB mandatory Dillian whyte even labelled his fellow Brit ‘ a f——— weirdo’ after he lost his belts to Usyk earlier this year.
But Usyk insists that couldn’t be further from the truth, because despite reports suggesting otherwise, he feels ‘they are being harsh’. Speaking to DAZN, he fired back at the critics, saying: “It’s unfortunate to hear that they are being harsh on Joshua’s performance, because I was there in the ring with him and he was very good.”
He continued: “I really do not know where they find grounds for criticism. It was truly a brilliant fight. “I am now preparing for another challenging match against him next year and I will need to be at my best to keep my championships.”
Usyk also insists he will leave nothing to chance the second time round, and promised more of the same in their rematch. He added: “The day after I won the heavyweight championships, I felt calm. Now, a month later, I feel the same.
“I am very proud to be the new champion but I mostly focus on just living my life and continuing to train hard in the gym in anticipation of the rematch. “understands Joshua plans to make wholescale changes to his training camp as he prepares to face two-division champ Usyk for the second time.
And Usyk admits he doesn’t care either way, as he insists it won’t make that much of a difference anyway. “I am not sure who will train Joshua for the rematch,” he admitted. “I have seen the speculation about who he may hire for next year but it does not matter to us who trains him.
“Our goal is to be prepared for everything and I train to improve my own chances, not based on my opponent.
“He also promised to be more aggressive and dangerous in the rematch. If that is the case, great. I’d be glad to experience that side of Joshua. I am sure it will be another brilliant fight.”