British heavyweight Anthony Joshua says he wants to ‘manipulate’ his nerves to his advantage when he takes on Oleksandr Usyk tomorrow night. AJ is aware of the pressure building on his shoulders as he attempts to revenge the heavy defeat he suffered at the hands of Usyk last year.
If Joshua fails to regain the WBA Super, IBF and WBO belts he faces a long road back to the top and will be back of the queue for another shot at the heavyweight world titles. AJ, aged 32, will meet his destiny in the King Abdullah Sports City Arena and hopes his nerves will help him focus to take the biggest win of his career.
Joshua said: “Definitely I get nervous. This one, yeah, because I want to win it, I want to perform. So it’s understanding that and then transitioning the nerves once the bell goes into focus. Nerves, they’re good if you understand them.
Usyk stunned Joshua at the London Stadium last year out-boxing the home fighter to win by a unanimous judges’ decision. AJ was also beaten by Andy Ruiz Junior three years ago and many believe that a second defeat by Usyk this weekend would mark the end of his career.
Former world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch is amongst those who doubt the British fighter and says a loss would mean ‘curtains’ for his career. Usyk fought for native Ukraine in their war against Russia delaying the re-match which AJ was contractually entitled too.