Boxing heavyweight rematch: ‘Joshua in trouble’

Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

Ahead of the August 20 boxing heavyweight rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia, Kazakh champion Nursultan Amanzholov has been recalled to spar with the Ukrainian in preparation for the fight.

Amanzholov, who in the previous fight against the British last year was responsible for sparring Usyk, was recalled after the Ukrainian returned from the press conference held in Jeddah last month.

According to Kazakh’s manager, Aamir Ali, Usyk is looking too dangerous and will treat the fight in a war-like manner.

“He [Amanzholov] says there are days when Usyk goes to war with him. It’s not easy to hurt Nursultan but he’s been on the receiving end a few times,” Ali told Sky Sports.

“But a lot of his heavyweights have been sent back home if they can’t stay in camp.

“As soon as [Usyk] came back from Jeddah, from the press conference, he phoned up Nursultan who was sitting in his hotel and said to him, ‘I want you sparring today.’

“Literally, he got off the plane and started sparring straightaway and [Amanzholov] said he was in a foul mood. He was in a really angry mood, wanted to go to war,” Ali revealed.

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Furthermore, Ali described the Kazakh as a formidable boxer who Usyk has been unable to disengage since both met.

Amanzholov’s manager stressed that since the world heavyweight champion started the preparation ahead of the August 20 bout, he has sent several boxers back home but not Kazakh, who has proven to be formidable.

Ali continued: “He was sending heavyweights, six foot six and whatnot back home. Nursultan was one of the only heavyweights that he kept on, throughout the whole camp.

“Because he would actually challenge him and give him a very tough time and from what I understand there were points where Nursultan was being told by Usyk, ‘No I need you to come on harder.’ Like don’t hold back on me, just go to war,” he added.

However, Ali explained that the tough ‘Kazakh had over 300 amateur fights’ and can take a lot of punishment.

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