Anthony Joshua detailed his plan to beat 'perfect boxer' Oleksandr Usyk back in 2018 while offering advice to Tony Bellew – but watched the Englishman get knock out by the favourite.
The WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight champion puts his belts on the line against the former cruiserweight king – with eyes on a 2022 unification bout against Tyson Fury.
Although the all-British meeting remains in the hopes of supporters, Joshua will not be able to look past Usyk who is unbeaten in his 18 professional fights, and is also a fellow Olympic gold medalist.
Usyk, 34, is looking to further build his name in the heavyweight division following wins over Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora, but Joshua might know a way to stop him.
Joshua told Sky Sports in November of 2018 before Bellew took on Usyk: "From a supporter's perspective it's always going to be entertaining because I really like rooting for Bellew.
"I really want him to win, so my passion is with him, regardless. Then, from an entertaining point of view, Usyk is like a perfect boxer, so I hope Bellew is working on his counter-punches as well, because that's the way to knock him out – let him tippy-tap and then explode.
"As we've seen Bellew can counter-punch and he's got a dirty left hook, and if he can land that I think he'll do well.
"If I am honest, Usyk is the favourite, straight-talking, because he's unbeaten and he's done it at cruiserweight and he's undisputed.
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"But, the thing with boxing, from like middleweight up, it takes one punch. One punch can change the course of a fight and, as I was saying, Bellew's got that in the locker.
"We all know he's got that as well, so that's what makes it so interesting."
Despite Joshua looking in fine shape, and going in as the favourite, Usyk seems unperturbed by his doubters as he looks to secure the biggest win of his career.
"I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone," said Usyk.
"I'm very grateful for the support I receive and everything else, but people place way too many expectations on athletes.
"This is because many of them don't really understand what happens in the ring and how difficult or, on the contrary, easy it is."
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