Anthony Joshua sparring more amateurs than professionals ahead of Oleksandr Usyk fight

Anthony Joshua defends his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles this weekend (Nick Potts/PA)

Anthony Joshua’s training partner has said the British boxer has sparred with more amateur fighters than professional in the lead-up to his bout with Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua has changed his preparation for fights since his shock defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019. The 31-year-old will be hoping his training will help him defend his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles on 25 September.

Croatian heavyweight Marko Milun told the Betway Insider blog: “In the ring, Joshua is very clever and smart. He knows what to do and he does it in the right way, he does everything in the right way. I grew a lot in the time I spent with him, learnt a lot of things that I did not know. Working with Angel Fernandez and Joby Clayton, they made me a little better.

“AJ for me was very surprising, he was very humble. He was like a guy from the local club, not the heavyweight champion, he spoke to us like a normal person. That surprised me.

“I think he chose me and other amateurs as sparring partners because he needed guys similar to Usyk. Usyk fights like an amateur boxer more than a normal professional and maybe that’s why he wanted me and Viktor Jurk and other amateurs, the only professional in camp was Shokran Parwani when I was there.”

Usyk has been preparing in the same way as he has been sparring with boxers who are a similar build to Joshua. Evgenios Lazaridis has been a part of the Ukrainian’s preparations and believes the Briton is Usyk’s toughest opponent to date.

He said: “This fight, of course, will be the toughest of Joshua’s career because he has never met such a good and technical boxer in his career before, it is a new challenge for him. I think that for Usyk Joshua’s size will not be a problem, because he is not a small heavyweight.

“My prediction is a 50/50 fight. Usyk has every chance to win. I advise fans not to miss this great fight, because this fight will be the most spectacular battle as two Olympic and world champions meet.”

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