“Definitely the hunger’s still there,” Anthony Joshua remarked at a press conference on Tuesday to promote his rematch with IBF, WBA, and WBO world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk on August 20th. “As I said from the get go,” he said, “stay hungry.” Joshua will need to be hungry if he wants to win later this summer. Joshua learned the hard way that Usyk is a tremendously good fighter when Usyk won Joshua’s championships in their first encounter last September. Joshua, on the other hand, has gone down this path before. In 2019, he was knocked out by Andy Ruiz in his American debut, losing his belts in the process.
Six months later, Joshua regained his championships by adjusting his technique and outslicking Ruiz till the last bell of their rematch. That bout, like the rematch with Usyk, took place in Saudi Arabia. When battling in the Middle Eastern Kingdom, Joshua plainly expects to continue his winning ways. “Blips happen,” Joshua added at the press conference, “things happen in life, but resilience, mental toughness and consistency will always prevail.” By making the proper adjustments, both in and out of the ring, Joshua feels he can once again be a heavyweight multi-titlist.”
“I knew I could come back again and do what I have to do,” he remarked, alluding to his defeat to Usyk last September. “I hold myself accountable. I’m someone who can admit when I’m wrong and hold my head high when I’m right.” noted American trainer Robert Garcia, who has joined Joshua’s camp to help the Londoner win again. “I see a different Anthony now, the way he thinks, the way he walks,” Garcia remarked. “I think he fought the wrong fight (but) that’s the past. It happened already.”
Again, this is not the first time Joshua has had to make changes. After all, he needed to build them in order to beat Ruiz in their rematch. And, at least on the surface, the tall Englishman radiated confidence during his news conference on Tuesday. “If you know me and a lot of my story you can know I’m the comeback king,” Joshua added. “You can put me down but it’s difficult to keep me down.” Defending titleist Usyk, who was also there at the press conference, seemed to take those statements literally, as he refused to look away from Joshua even after their fight minutes later.