Anthony Joshua reveals he will CUT weight for Oleksandr Usyk fight and wants to 'trim down and lose bulky muscles'

ANTHONY JOSHUA will CUT weight before fighting Oleksandr Usyk to avoid being 'bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen.'

Joshua, 31, defends his unified heavyweight titles against slippery southpaw Usyk, the ex-cruiserweight king, on September 25 at Tottenham's stadium.

The Ukrainian challenger has been piling on the pounds in a bid to bulk up and match the big boys of the division.

But AJ, who weighed 17st 2lb in his last fight, revealed he is actually looking to trim down.

With the prospect of having to systematically break down mastermind Usyk, 34, Joshua opened up about losing some mass.

He told Sky Sports: "I do look at my weight but I'm not trying to make weight because I'm a heavyweight.

"I tailor my training. I am getting a lot of experience, I've been fighting good fighters for a long time, I've studied them and learned about their training camps.

"I've learned how to condition my body for specific fights. I'm looking trim for this fight.

"I'm fighting a guy who is a 12-round fighter. So it would be silly of me to go in there bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen.

"I've been training like a 15-round fighter in this camp. I will be well-conditioned to fight. That is key.

"What happens when I train that way? My body adapts and takes its natural form. This is the form it has taken."

Joshua's career-heaviest as champion was the 18st 2lb he weighed in 2017 before beating Carlos Takam, now 40, in ten rounds.

And his lightest was 16st 13lb, when he outboxed Andy Ruiz Jr, 31, in their 2019 rematch having been stopped six months prior.

Joshua was expecting to unify the division against long-time rival Tyson Fury, 32, with terms agreed for an undisputed title decider in Saudi.

But Deontay Wilder, 35, scuppered those plans after winning the right to a trilogy bout with Fury, now set for October 9.

"I'm fighting a guy who is a 12-round fighter. So it would be silly of me to go in there bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen.

It left Joshua ordered to fight WBO mandatory Usyk, the man who he credits as the toughest challenge of his career.

He said: "One hundred per cent, he will be. Movement means you are never stationery to get hit. Movement is important.

"Concentration – when you want to [punch], you lock in, then make a move. You have to make sure your brain works.

"That can be mentally fatiguing so I am sharpening the mind so that I can concentrate for the 12 rounds.

"Also I practise having the ability to [punch] four times, not just once. Concentrate, take your time, pin him down.

"It's a fight for the brain. Knowing what you've got in front of you and knowing how to deal with it.

"You can either be aggressive, corner [him], throw everything at it. Or take your time, be clever, then knock [him] out."


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