Atlas: Joshua Accepts Defeat Too Easily, Like a Guy That Made Too Much Money

Veteran trainer and boxing analyst, Teddy Atlas, believes two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is a bit too gracious in defeat. 

Back in June 2019, Joshua was shocked when he lost his unified crown to huge underdog Andy Ruiz, who dropped the British star four times for a stoppage win in seven rounds.

Six months later, Joshua regained his titles when he boxed his way to a twelve round decision win over Ruiz.

In 2021, Joshua was once again struck with a setback, when Oleksandr Uysk outboxed him over twelve for a unanimous decision victory to capture the IBF, WBO, IBO, WBA titles.

Atlas – who worked with several top fighters like former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson, Alexander Povetkin and Michael Moorer – feels Joshua accepts defeat too easily.

“Joshua, he’s made too much money,” Atlas said on his podcast The Fight. “I do [think that]. He accepts defeat too easily, too graciously – I want a good winner and a good loser, don’t get me wrong.

“I believe as much as anybody, if not more than most people, about that, about showing that kind of graciousness whether you win or lose, but he’s too gracious when it comes to it. Like a guy that made too much money.”

Joshua has exercised an immediate rematch clause, with the second fight with Usyk being positioned for dates in April.

The twice-beaten boxer has promised to get revenge.

“The learning is done, it’s war, straight war. I’m boiling up inside even speaking about it. [Usyk] has had like 400 amateur fights, he’s seen people that have tried to rough him up, millions of times, so to just try and adapt to one [game plan] is silly,” Atlas said.

“But for me I have one thing in my mind; that’s war, that’s murder, that’s war. That’s go out there and hurt the guy, and take his soul to the point where he wants to give up.”

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Wilder’s Coach: Joshua Needs To Impose Himself, But Usyk May Just Have His Number

Malik Scott, the head trainer of former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, says Anthony Joshua must impose himself in order to defeat a boxer like Oleksandr Usyk.

Last September, the smaller Usyk was able to outbox Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles.

The two are scheduled to collide in a rematch in the first quarter of this year.

“I usually don’t have the answer that most casuals use. I try to go another way. Most casuals wouldn’t know a left hook from a fish hook, but what most casuals and boxing people are saying, I have to agree with,” Scott told ES News.

“He can’t be that big and have the ability to impose himself and not impose himself on one of the smallest fighters he’s ever fought. This is the perfect time for him to use his good positioning, his size, his strength that he’s blessed with physically and mentally.”

Back in 2019, Joshua was dropped four times in his seven round stoppage loss at the hands of Andy Ruiz. Six months later, Joshua was able to get revenge when he stayed at a distance and outboxed Ruiz over twelve rounds for a unanimous decision win.

Scott explains that Usyk’s style might be too much for Joshua to overcome. He believes Usyk will once again come away with the win.

“I think Joshua might be dealing with someone who has his number. I don’t think this is Andy Ruiz where you can just fight off the back foot and win,” Scott said.

“I think Usyk may have AJ’s number and if I was a betting man I would bet that the rematch would be more interesting but I still would go for Usyk for the victory.”

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Groves: Usyk is The Best Talent in The Heavyweight Division

Former super middleweight champion George Groves has a lot of respect for the fighting ability of unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk.

During his pro run, the Olympic gold medal winner became the undisputed world champion in the cruiserweight division – the first to do so in the four belt era.

In September, Usyk reached another major milestone when he outboxed Anthony Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles.

A rematch is already in play for the first quarter of 2022 – with dates in April being explored.

While Joshua is going to do everything possible to improve his game in order to regain his belts, Groves believes it could be tough because Usyk could improve his game as well.

“Anthony Joshua is definitely still up there as one of the best, and one of the top three in the world. I think he defeats Deontay Wilder and beats the other guys coming through. But we now have to see how much desire he still has. It will be extremely difficult to get back to that No 1 spot, but never say never in the heavyweight division. It only takes one punch,” Groves said to Sky Sports.

“He might be able to make some changes, make some adjustments and come back even stronger. It could be very tough to defeat Oleksandr Usyk. I think Usyk might improve from his first fight against Joshua.

“Usyk is the best talent in the heavyweight division. He’s the only legitimate heavyweight who could go in a pound-for-pound rating. He doesn’t win his fights because he’s 6’9″ and 20st. He wins his fights because he’s got great ability.”

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Canelo’s Trainer Says “No Chance” a Fight With Usyk Ever Happens

According to Eddy Reynoso, head trainer and manager of Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, says there is no chance that his boxer will face Oleksandr Usyk.

In a recent interview, Usyk – who is currently the WBO, IBF, IBO, WBA heavyweight champion – said he was willing to drop back to cruiserweight for a chance to fight Canelo.

Last month, Canelo’s handlers requested permission from the World Boxing Council to challenge WBC cruiserweight champion Ilunga Makabu.

At the moment, Canelo is the undisputed world champion at super middleweight – but he appears to be leaning in the direction of moving up, either to light heavyweight or the fight with Makabu for the cruiserweight strap. 

Reynoso has no interest in matching Canelo against a highly skilled boxer who recently reached the highest pinnacle in the heavyweight division.

However, Reynoso is very interested in matching his unbeaten Cuban heavyweight, Frank Sanchez, against Usyk.

“No, no way, there is no chance that [Canelo] will fight Usyk. He’s a heavyweight fighter, that’s what we have Frank Sanchez there for and that would be a great fight,” Reynoso told Lester Silva.

Reynoso and Sanchez will have their first assignment of 2022 on Saturday night, when they enter the ring against Christain Hammer. The fight will be showcased as part of a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View card from Tampa, Florida.

“We are going to look for a world championship fight in 2022. Frank is ranked at number four in the WBC and within the top five of the other organizations, so we’ll keep working and keep learning,” Reynoso said.

“Hopefully we get [the world title shot], we are very excited. More than anything the discipline and hunger that Frank has shown in the gym, the learning that he has had, little by little, gives us the guideline to think about that.”

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Malik Scott Taps Usyk to Defeat Fury: I Won’t Be Shocked At All If Usyk Beats Him

Malik Scott does not think Oleksandr Usyk, the WBO/WBA/IBF heavyweight champion, is a walk in the park for WBC titleholder Tyson Fury. On the contrary.

The trainer of Deontay Wilder, Scott recently stated that he believes the Ukrainian southpaw would stand a good chance of defeating Fury in a potential fight, a somewhat surprising prediction given that Scott witnessed Fury hand his charge two devastating losses in a row.

Fury met Wilder in the ring for the third time this past summer in a barnburner that ended with Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) knocking out the hard-hitting Alabaman in the 11th round.

“I don’t think it’s far-fetched that he beats Fury at all,” Scott told Declan Taylor of Boxing News. “He’s extremely stubborn…He’s fought big guys and beaten them before.”

Scott believes Fury’s athleticism isn’t what it once was, giving Usyk the window he needs to score a win.

“You’ve also got to think this is the best time for Usyk to fight Fury,” Scott said. “Fury isn’t fast no more, he doesn’t have reflexes like he used to.”

“The style he is fighting with right now, believe it or not, it works perfect for Usyk to win that fight,” Scott continued. “If there’s anyone that can box with Usyk it’s the younger Fury, the Wladimir Klitschko Fury. But this new Fury works perfect for Usyk. Don’t be surprised if Usyk becomes undisputed champion and beats Fury next year.”

Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs), a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, made headlines after he defeated Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) on points in September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Usyk landed numerous straight left hands, several of which had the much bigger Joshua buzzed.

“How’s Fury going to deal with it when he’s getting hit by Usyk, when he realizes this guy can punch harder than he expected?” Scott said. “How’s he going to deal with that? We’ll see. But I won’t be shocked at all if Usyk beats him. It’s almost expected by me.”

Part of Scott’s confidence in his prediction comes out of the fact that he spent time with Usyk in training camp; Scott is a former heavyweight contender.

“Deontay and Tyson shook up the heavyweight division with their trilogy but Usyk is on the move too,” Scott said. “He’s not good, he’s great. I’ve been to his training camp; it’s half zoo, half forest. The ring is so small, the smallest ring in the world. And when they told me he used that ring to get ready to fight Murat Gassiev it told me who he is as a man. He makes himself extremely uncomfortable during training camp which makes it easy for him on fight night.

“When you see him calm, cool, and relaxed in what is supposed to be the fight of his life, it’s because he just left a Hell zoo training camp. The fight is easy for him.” 

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Froch: Joshua Has All of The Physical Attributes Needed To Win Usyk Rematch

Former super middleweight champion Carl Froch explains that Anthony Joshua has all of the necessary attributes to turn things around in a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

In September, Usyk outboxed Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the IBF, IBO, WBO, WBA titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Joshua has exercised an immediate rematch clause, with dates in April being explored for the second contest.

There is talk of Joshua hiring a new head trainer for the fight – or at the very least expand his team with an additional veteran coach.

Joshua has been trained by Robert McCracken since the amateur ranks.

Froch, who himself was trained by McCracken as a pro, believes Joshua should avoid the scenario of making changes to his current team.

“I think Anthony Joshua needs to rediscover the same explosive style and ruthless instinct that he showed in that win over Wladimir Klitschko. He’s bigger, stronger with more height and reach than Oleksandr Usyk. He’s got all the physical attributes needed to win that fight. He must rekindle the fire that brought some destructive wins earlier in his career. He is big enough and powerful enough to beat anybody, especially Usyk who is much smaller in comparison,” Froch told Sky Sports.

“AJ has talked about adding new trainers, but I think he should just remain with Rob McCracken and instead make his team smaller. That’s what worked for me, I worked with Rob throughout my career, but I’m not Anthony Joshua. I was meticulous, I thought about a lot, but I put a lot of trust in my coach. My belief in my coach was unquestionable.”

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Usyk On Being Undisputed: It Will Be a Very Loud Statement From Me

Oleksandr Usyk is closing out 2021 as one of the top fighters in the sport.

Back in September, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion became a two-division beltholder when he outboxed betting favorite Anthony Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Joshua has since exercised an immediate rematch clause, with a rematch being positioned for the first quarter of 2022.

“My life has changed, but my rules definitely did not. I still live by my own principles and standards. In terms of recognition, yes. I’ve been in a couple of European countries after the win, and it’s been a lot more people coming up to me,” Usyk explained to Forbes.

While many had expected Usyk to get toppled prior to the first meeting, many view him as the favorite in the rematch.

Usyk’s goal right now is to beat Joshua and then go after the fourth belt, which is the WBC title currently held by Tyson Fury.

“My mental state was fine before the fight with Joshua as it was after. I always knew what I was working toward. I was going straight up to my goals. Of course, it can change. That’s how things are. The victory happens and people are changing their [views about me], and it’s their right. However, I felt before Joshua that I would just keep working on my state of being prepared,” Usyk said.

“If I get those four belts, it will be a very loud statement from me.”

For the last few months, there is talk of Joshua incorporating a new trainer into his team – to either lead the way or work side by side with Robert McCracken. Usyk does not seem concerned.

“I’m not worried if Joshua is ready to fight. Oleksandr is ready for any kind of fight,” Usyk said. “Of course, he’s going to change everything. Everything will be new.”

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Roy Jones Believes ‘Uysk Beats Canelo Easy’, But Cautions Moving Back Down To Cruiserweight

At least one person thinks Oleksandr Usyk would be severely misguided to go back down to cruiserweight for a fight with Canelo Alvarez.

Boxing icon Roy Jones Jr. was recently asked about Usyk’s supposed interest in fighting Alvarez at the cruiserweight limit, the latest hot-button issue to hit the sport. The subject was prompted by Alvarez’s recent indication that his next fight may take place at the oft-forgotten weight class, which Usyk had once completely unified. Usyk, of course, is currently the unified heavyweight champion after beating Anthony Joshua by unanimous decision in September.

But Jones believes Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) would be unwise to drop back down to cruiserweight for several reasons, none of which has to do with any belief that Alvarez would win. On the contrary.

“To me, Usyk is too big for Canelo,” Jones told IFL TV in a recent interview. “Uysk beats Canelo easy, in my opinion. But Uysk is the heavyweight champion of the world. Why would you go down to cruiserweight when you’re the heavyweight champion of the world?

“I remember when Chad Dawson went down from light heavyweight to fight Andre Ward at 168. That was the end of his career.”

In addition to potentially compromising his health and his prime, Jones believes that Usyk would stand to gain as much economically, if not more, if he stays put in the heavyweight ranks. After all, Usyk is the heavyweight champion with the most number of belts. Only Tyson Fury, who owns the WBC trinket, is a titlist in the division. For that reason, Jones is not convinced that Alvarez would present a bigger payday for Usyk than if he were to face the likes of Fury or even Joshua in a rematch.

In short, in Jones’ view, Usyk does not lack opportunities in the most remunerative division in boxing.

“Why would you [go back down to cruiserweight to fight Alvarez] when you have Tyson Furys, Deontay Wilders, Anthony Joshuas? You’ve got so many big guys in the weight class where you are champion right now that it makes no sense unless you’re making way more money fighting [Alvarez], which you’re not,” Jones said. “Usyk versus Fury right now is probably one of the biggest fights on the planet. Usyk versus Joshua is another big fight.”

“I think it’s all about a business decision. If there’ s more money you can make fighting somebody else, then ok. But why would you sacrifice by gambling on getting beat because you lost the weight when all you have to do is stay where you at and dominate?”

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Usyk vs. Joshua Rematch Still on Track For April, Says Hearn

Eddie Hearn, promoter for former two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, says the rematch with Oleksandr Usyk is still on track to take place in April 2022.

Back in September, Usyk outboxed Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO titles at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Joshua would then exercise an immediate rematch clause.

“Obviously not much other than we got to get together and decide a date. April is realistic for that fight and where it’s going to be,” Hearn told IFL TV.

“AJ is the type that fights twice a year, and sometimes we feel like it would be nice to fight three times a year. We’ve had offers from around the world, but I think the UK will stage that fight.”

According to Hearn, there won’t be any discussions of a step-aside deal.

There was some chatter regarding the possibility of Joshua stepping aside in order to allow Usyk the opportunity to face WBC champion Tyson Fury in a full division unification.

But, the WBC ordered Fury to make a mandatory defense against Dillian Whyte. Those negotiations have stalled – as Whyte is currently engaged in a legal battle with the sanctioning body.

“We have to sit down with [Usyk’s manager] Alex Krassyuk, and we’ll get Christmas out of the way and we’ll start moving forward with that because it’s time to start planning for that,’ Hearn said.

“Obviously, there were a couple of discussions about step asides and those kinds of fights. So we’ll have to see. But that looks very unlikely now because obviously of the Dillian Whyte situation, which AJ is pleased about.

“He didn’t want to have those conversations unless I presented them to him. So if that’s not the case, he moves forward with what he wants, which is the Oleksandr Usyk rematch.”

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Top Rank Prez: I Think Fury and Joshua Will Fight at Least Once – People Want To See It

Top Rank president Todd DuBoef, who co-promotes WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, expects his boxer to face Anthony Joshua at some point in the future.

At the moment Fury’s handlers are in talks for a mandatory defense against Dillian Whyte in early 2022.

And Joshua will attempt to reclaim the WBO, IBF, WBA, IBO world titles from Oleksandr Usyk, also in the early part of next year. Back in September, Usyk outboxed Joshua over twelve rounds to capture the unified crown.

If all goes well, Fury will retain his title and then face the victor of Usyk-Joshua in the summer.

Win or lose against Usyk, DuBoef believes the public will still be very interested in a potential fight between Joshua and Fury.

“I would love to see Fury against Joshua, Usyk and Whyte,” said DuBoef to Sky Sports.

“It’s about what the people want to see. Regardless of the order – Fury vs Joshua is what the people want to see. Regardless of one guy getting out-boxed one night, it doesn’t matter because they each have great fanbases and personalities.

“We, as people involved, owe the people to serve what they want. I think Fury and Joshua will fight at least once, because the people want it. If Joshua and Usyk do the rematch and Usyk looks sensational again, then maybe the public will say, ‘We want Fury vs Usyk’. Joshua says he had an off-night. He has to establish his dominance, like he did against Andy Ruiz Jr.

“Joshua has to take his career to that elevated state again by erasing his off-night. That is important. He is a great ambassador for the sport and a great champion. The more successful he and Fury are, the more successful boxing is. The dynamic nature of uncertainty creates real interest. Tyson is in a wonderful position. He came in as an opponent for Deontay Wilder who was down and out. His personality has taken over the world.”

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