Oleksandr Usyk looks ‘dangerous’ as he spars ferociously hard to prepare for Anthony Joshua rematch


Oleksandr Usyk is looking “dangerous” in camp as he spars ferociously hard for his August 20 rematch with Anthony Joshua, one of his training partners has revealed.

Kazakh heavyweight Nursultan Amanzholov had sparred Usyk ahead of his first fight with Joshua and was recalled to his team to help prepare the champion for the rematch in Saudi Arabia next month.

Ukraine’s Usyk is looking “dangerous” in training, Amanzholov’s manager Aamir Ali told Sky Sports.

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Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk refused to look away from each other during an intense face-off between the pair ahead of the world heavyweight title rematch

“He [Amanzholov] says there are days when Usyk goes to war with him. It’s not easy to hurt to Nursultan but he’s been on the receiving end a few times. But a lot of his heavyweights have been sent back home, if they can’t stay in camp,” Ali said. “They can’t keep up.”

The Kazakh prospect has been training in Dubai with Usyk since June for this fight. “He says [Usyk] is in tremendous shape for this camp,” Amanzholov’s manager said.

“He said as soon as [Usyk] came back from Jeddah, from the press conference, the day he arrived back, he phoned up Nursultan who was sitting in his hotel and said to him, ‘I want you sparring today.’ Literally got off the plane and started sparring straightaway and [Amanzholov] said he was in a foul mood. He was in a really angry mood, wanted to go to war.

“Anthony Joshua’s in trouble.”

The Kazakh was a seasoned amateur before he turned professional and is durable. He’s sparred heavy punchers before. “He took every shot in the book from (Daniel) Dubois, every shot in the book and didn’t move,” Ali said. “His feet, for a guy that big, are amazing.

“He’s had over 300 amateur fights so he’s a really, really tough kid. [He can take] a lot of punishment.”

Oleksandr Usyk File Photo
File photo dated 24-09-2021 of Oleksandr Usyk. World heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk insisted he has �absolutely no fear� after taking up arms in Kyiv to defend his native Ukraine against invading Russian forces. Issue date: Wednesday March 2, 2022.
Oleksandr Usyk is training with serious intentions

But sparring Usyk has pushed his limits. He trained with the Ukrainian for his first fight with Anthony Joshua last year.

Then Ali explained, “He was sending heavyweights, six foot six and whatnot back home. Nursultan was the one of the only heavyweights that he kept on throughout the whole camp. Because he would actually challenge him and give him a very tough time and from what I understand there were points where Nursultan was being told by Usyk, ‘No I need you to come on harder.’ Like don’t hold back on me, just go to war.”

The signs are that an inspired Usyk is leaving nothing to chance as he goes into his second bout with Joshua. His IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles are on the line as well as the Ukrainian’s status in the division. That will all be decided on August 20.

The biggest fight in the history of women’s boxing – Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall – is live on Sky Sports on Saturday, September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.

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