Where does Tyson Fury’s win leave the world heavyweight scene?
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Anthony Joshua has been urged to ‘use Tyson Fury’s tactics against Wilder’ if he wants to defeat Oleksandr Usyk in the pair’s heavyweight rematch, according to WBO cruiserweight champion Lawrence Okolie.
Joshua lost his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles after losing to the Ukrainian last month, as Usyk put on a boxing masterclass to defeat the Englishman on points in front of 65,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Just weeks later there eventually was good news for British heavyweight boxing, as Fury prevailed for a second successive time against Deontay Wilder thanks to an 11th round knockout, to ensure he kept his WBC world title.
Many – both before and after the bouts – had called for Fury and Joshua to meet in an all-British fight following Fury’s win, however Joshua will instead take on Usyk in an attempt to regain his titles.
In their last meeting Usyk clearly outboxed AJ across the 12 rounds, so cruiserweight champion Okolie now believes he should take a similar approach to what Fury took in his win over Wilder in order to beat his arch rival.
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“He was in there with a world class fighter, a generational talent,” Okolie told the Mail.
“It’s not just a case of you doing this and that happens. There’s another person in there trying to prevent that and knock you out.
“There’s stuff AJ can do to try and change the way the fight looks and feels, and I think he will. But in terms of his performance, he tried his best and it wasn’t good enough on the day.
“You have to just say Usyk was great that night and AJ has to work on certain things to beat that style. As you saw with Fury and Wilder, Wilder is an exceptional fighter, an exceptional puncher.
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“But Fury decided, you know what, I’m 277-pounds and I’m going to let you know it.
“He pushed him back, he rallied through the hard rounds, ground him down and got the stoppage. I believe AJ can do something similar.”
As a result the 28-year-old praised the Gypsy King for enforcing his superior size and power upon Wilder, and believes this is the key for Joshua to succeed in his heavyweight rematch.
Okolie added: “Of course AJ is a talented boxer, but Usyk is an extremely talented boxer. Nine out of ten heavyweights aren’t going to try and box Usyk.
“They’re going to go in there and say ‘I am a natural heavyweight, let me show you.’I believe AJ does that, and alongside the boxing skills he has, he’ll get it done.
“He relied a bit too much on his boxing ability, where sometimes you have to remember it’s a contact sport, so go in there and make contact.”
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed last week that AJ and his team have exercised the rematch clause in his contract with the Ukrainian boxer, and revealed the Englishman is eager as ever to take his titles back.
Hearn told DAZN: “He’s training now and today we officially triggered the rematch for the Oleksandr Usyk fight, which we will see early next spring. So he’s back in the game and looking to become a three-time heavyweight world champion.”
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