Oleksandr Usyk is expecting Anthony Joshua to come with a different approach to their world heavyweight title rematch on August 20.
Usyk defends the WBA ‘super’, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight world titles that he ripped away from Joshua by unanimous decision 11 months ago, when the pair clash in a crunch second outing next Saturday in Saudi Arabia.
Joshua was criticised for attempting to outbox the masterful Ukrainian in the first bout and is expected to employ a more aggressive game plan under the guidance of new coach Robert Garcia, who replaced Robert McCracken.
Usyk, who is concluding his training camp in Dubai says he is prepared for his rival to adopt a new strategy, but has warned that he will prepare differently.
“I’m comfortable boxing in front of a new crowd and in new places,” the 35-year-old told Parimatch.
“I go out and do my work. I work a lot in the gym, and I have boxed for the first time somewhere new on many occasions.
“For me, it makes no difference where I box, whether it is the first or second time in a particular place. I like to box in new places.
“Of course. Anthony Joshua is a strong guy and a strong boxer, and he cannot be written off in any way.
“In the rematch, he will be different. He will prepare differently. I will do that too.”
Usyk was given permission to leave his native Ukraine in March to get ready for the rematch after enlisting in the territorial army following the invasion from Russia.
Victory for either man could set up an undisputed title battle with WBC world heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury after the 33-year-old confirmed he will return to boxing earlier this week, after a brief stint in retirement.
‘The Gypsy King’ is looking to face Derek Chisora in a trilogy bout in December, although his co-promoter Bob Arum has dismissed the bout and claimed that he has already spoken to Usyk’s team about a unification with Fury should the two-weight world champion beat Joshua again.
Usyk, who has won three fights at heavyweight since moving up from cruiserweight where he was undisputed champion, is confident of securing a second win over ‘AJ’.
“The fight with Anthony Joshua showed that I can box in a heavyweight division and win, and I will continue in the same spirit.
“I will box, I will win, and I will showcase quality boxing.
“I have learned a lot. The coach watched the match many times and still watches it now.
“We will work out the combinations that we will use in our rematch. I cannot tell you all the secrets we are working on, but the coach and I saw a lot.
“I am confident in what I am doing and that I do my job to the fullest. But to be 100% sure about something like that [beating AJ twice]? I don’t know.
“But I know what I do. I work, I box, and victory is given by the Lord.”