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Anthony Joshua backed to be lightest for eight years for Oleksandr Usyk fight

Joshua has looked in lean shape during fight week so far, and the heavyweight has been backed to come in at 234 pounds by bookies which would be his lightest weight for eight years

Anthony Joshua works out ahead of Oleksandr Usyk fight

Anthony Joshua has been predicted to weigh in at his lightest for eight years by bookies against Oleksandr Usyk.

The British heavyweight makes his latest unified title defence at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Saturday.

And before the fight, Joshua has spoken of his plans to trim down his weight to improve his footwork and technique.

This has been reinforced by a bookie’s lowdown by Sporting Index, who have predicted he will come in at his lightest weight for eight years.

Neville Burdock, Head of Trading at Sporting Index, said: “ Anthony Joshua has built a reputation as a heavyweight fighter with a huge frame and big muscles, which has helped him to land many knockouts with his explosive punching style.



Anthony Joshua looks in good shape ahead of his Oleksandr Usyk test




“However, it looks like the heavyweight champion has stuck with the more streamlined figure he adopted for the Andy Ruiz Jr rematch and Kubrat Pulev fight, and we expect him to record his lowest weight for a fight in eight years at 234lbs at tomorrow’s weigh-in.”

Weighing in at 234lbs would signal his lowest weight since the early days of his career in 2013, where he came in at 229lbs.

And it would also signal a decrease of 6lbs from his weigh-in figure for his stoppage defeat over Pulev last time out.

Joshua used his lower weight to his advantage when he put on a punch-perfect boxing display in his rematch against Andy Ruiz in Saudi Arabia.

And the 31-year-old is predicting a “fight for the brain” when he previously spoke about his proposed weight for the clash.

Who wins- Joshua or Usyk? Let us know your prediction in the comments section below.



Oleksandr Usyk is looking to cause an upset in London
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Image:

Getty Images)




“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,” he told Sky Sports.

“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.

“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 practice having the ability to [punch] four times, not just once. 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.”

Joshua was set to take on domestic rival Tyson Fury in an undisputed clash, before being forced to pursue a clash with Usyk.

But the Briton remains adamant that he “needs” a contest with the lineal champion to prove his heavyweight credentials.

Despite having one eye on Fury afterward, Joshua is still keen to make a statement against a dangerous opponent and has sent Usyk a warning message.


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