Tyson Fury says Anthony Joshua requires a specific strategy against Aleksandr Usyk in their rematch
Anthony Joshua must deploy a very specific strategy if he is to reclaim his world heavyweight titles from unbeaten Ukrainian champion Aleksandr Usyk this weekend, according to his longtime rival Tyson Fury.
Joshua was largely outclassed by Usyk in their first meeting in London last September en route to a comprehensive points decision in what was just the second loss of his career.
Usyk, the former cruiserweight champion, employed a technically superior style which the Briton could not overcome throughout 12 rounds of action at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Englishman received a measure of backlash in the media in the days and weeks afterwards, after he was criticized for apparently disavowing his usual aggressive style and instead tried to outbox the slick Usyk.
But if Joshua is to be successful in their sequel in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, Fury says that there is one easy route to victory: concentrate his attacks towards Usyk's body.
"So here we are in the gym in Morecambe Bay," Fury says in a video posted to Instagram, showing him alongside trainer and the former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee.
"Got Andy Lee here and myself, with the Irish green gloves on for Andy Lee," says Fury, before he unloads a sequence of body shots to Lee who is wearing a padded protector.
"Without this I'd be dead," Lee says after the pummeling strikes, motioning to his body protector equipment.
Fury added in the Instagram caption: "This is how Anthony Joshua needs to attack Usyk's body. I know the blown-up middleweight can't take body shots."
Fury has been a frequent critic of Usyk's abilities at heavyweight after the former cruiserweight king moved up a division. He initially struggled in his first heavyweight outing against Dereck Chisora who used a roughhousing, aggressive style before claiming a decision win.
Joshua enters the fight in Jeddah under the tutelage of trainer Robert Garcia after parting ways with former coach Rob McCracken, and boxing fans are keen to see how the switch will impact the Olympic gold medalist's performance.
Usyk is preparing for his rematch with Joshua. Ayman Yaqoob / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
However, the backing for Joshua ahead of the rematch certainly isn't unanimous.
Kostya Tszyu, the retired Russian-Australian former world champion, has said that Usyk's tactical nous will bring him a second victory against Joshua when they meet this weekend.
"I think Usyk will win again," he told Russia's Match TV. "He is stronger than Joshua, first of all, with his head. Lacking the knockout punch a heavyweight should have, Usyk wins fights through skill and technique.
"Joshua loses to him in terms of combat tactics. Even if he does a good job, [Usyk] is much higher level. I think we will see him win on points. Yes, there is always a chance of taking a shot, but I hope that this does not happen. I will root for Usyk."