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SPORTS UPDATE

Usyk rematch: Business minded Anthony Joshua hits S/ Arabia

Nigeria born British pugilist Anthony Joshua has shown how eager he is ahead of Oleksandr Usyk rematch by arriving Saudi Arabia more than a month to the all important showdown. Joshua’s arrival according Jonny Nelson is a show of his ‘serious intentions’

Joshua is set to face Oleksandr Usyk in a rematch for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.

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

Anthony Joshua has shown “serious intentions” by arriving early in Saudi Arabia as he prepares to test Oleksandr Usyk with a destructive early onslaught, says Johnny Nelson.

Joshua is set to rematch Usyk on August 20 for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles after the Ukrainian’s unanimous decision win in London last September.

With a full month to go until the fight, footage has emerged on social media of the two-time world champion training in Jeddah.

“It’s a good sign,” Nelson told Sky Sports. “He wants to acclimatise, get used to the heat, get used to his environment, make it second nature, a second home for himself out there, which is a good sign.”

Nelson compared Joshua’s early arrival to that of heavyweight great Muhammad Ali, who famously arrived in Zaire months before he defeated George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle in 1974.

“I remember when Ali did it when he was fighting George Foreman in the jungle, he was there for longer than he expected to be,” Nelson said.

“I think, this one here, AJ has gone out there thinking he’s got to do it right. I’m sure he’s taken his team out, his sparring partners out there.

“It’s the best thing to do, just to get used to the heat. He’s got to do everything in his favour, and I like the thinking behind it.

“We can read into so many things, but it shows serious intentions, he’s out there on business, which is a must.”

‘Both fighters will change tactics’

Nelson believes the advantages gained by Joshua’s early arrival will be crucial, as the second fight could be decided by small margins.

“It’s not an impossible ask for AJ to get the win,” Nelson continued. “He has the ability, he has the tools to do it. He’s just got to make sure he chooses the right tactics.

“Both fighters have had the grace of sharing the ring and knowing what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are. Usyk might think about putting the pressure on a bit earlier because he almost had AJ out in the first fight. AJ might think about playing Usyk at his own game and putting Usyk under pressure from off, going for broke.

Anthony Joshua says he is hungry for the talking to end so he can get in the ring and ‘do his job’ against Oleksandr Usyk

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