‘Nervous’ Anthony Joshua explains ‘handling’ plan ahead of Oleksandr Usyk showdown | Boxing | sport

British heavyweight Antoine Joshua says he wants to “manipulate” his nerves to his advantage when confronting Oleksandr Usyk tomorrow evening. AJ is aware of the pressure mounting on his shoulders as he tries to get revenge for the heavy defeat he suffered at the hands of Usyk last year.

If Joshua fails to win back the WBA Super, IBF and WBO belts, he will face a long road to the top and be back in line for another shot at the world heavyweight titles. The 32-year-old AJ will meet his fate at King Abdullah Sports City Arena and will hope his nerves will help him focus to claim the biggest victory of his career.

Joshua said: “Certainly I get nervous. This one, yeah, because I want to win it, I want to play. So it’s a matter of figuring that out and then transitioning the nerfs once the bell is in place. Nerves, they’re good if you understand them.

Usyk stunned Joshua at the London Stadium last year beating the fighter on home soil to win by judges’ unanimous decision. AJ was also beaten by Andy Ruiz Junior three years ago and many believe a second loss to Usyk this weekend would mark the end of his career.

Former world super middleweight champion Carl Froch is among those doubting the British fighter and says a loss would mean ‘curtains’ for his career. Usyk fought for the native Ukraine in their war against Russia, delaying the rematch which AJ was also contractually entitled to.

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