Great Britain

Eddie Hearn says Anthony Joshua must ‘go in and hurt’ Oleksandr Usyk in rematch and warns ‘right him off at your peril’

EDDIE HEARN said Anthony Joshua must 'go in and hurt' Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch and warned: 'Right him off at your peril'.

For the second time in his career, Joshua has lost the unified heavyweight crown after falling victim to a 12 round masterclass by Usyk.

After being stunned by Andy Ruiz Jr, in 2019, AJ six months later switched styles to box his way to revenge.

But promoter Hearn admitted those same box and move tactics is what played into Usyk's hands in front of around 70,000 fans at Tottenham.

Just like Joshua, 31, did after losing to Ruiz, 32, he plans to exercise his right to an immediate rematch with Usyk, 34.

Hearn told iFL TV: “This rematch, whether you think AJ can win or not, I’m telling you, it will be entirely different and right him off at your peril.

“You’ll see a different Anthony Joshua in this fight, and that’s our excitement. The disappointment of defeat and now revenge.

“We’ve been here before, and now a three-time heavyweight world champion. That’s the new dream. He’ll do his work.


“Now, I’m excited because that rematch is going to happen early next year, and if he does it, which I believe he can, he’s on a whole new level.

“This game plan is not box and move, this plan is to go in and hurt Usyk."

Joshua raised eyebrows as he opted against using his weight advantage of over a stone to instead try and outsmart Usyk.

But he was convincingly bettered on the night, leaving even Hearn confused by the tactics.

He said: "I don't know whether it was almost a rebellious thing where it's like, 'No, I'm going to go in there and outbox him'.

"Just a terrible idea, terrible idea. But don't forget, Usyk negates things that you want to try and do.

"So maybe he wanted to be a little bit more aggressive, wasn't able to at specific times because of the brilliance.

"I don't want to just say, 'Bad game plan, bad performance'. You've got to give unbelievable credit to Usyk, he's brilliant."

Eddie Hearn admits Anthony Joshua was trying to outbox Oleksandr Usyk

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