WATCH: Anthony Joshua Tries MMA Moves Ahead of the Oleksandr Usyk Fight

Published 07/12/2021, 1:30 AM EDT
DIRIYAH, SAUDI ARABIA – DECEMBER 07: Anthony Joshua poses for a photo with the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title belts after the IBF, WBA, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Title Fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua during the Matchroom Boxing ‘Clash on the Dunes’ show at the Diriyah Season on December 07, 2019 in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


The monotony of a boxing training camp can get to any boxer competing at any level. Muhammad Ali once said about training, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” But what’s got to be done has got to be done. One needs to put in the hours to reap the benefits. Heavyweight champion of the world Anthony Joshua is no stranger to hard work.

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The British heavyweight’s long strenuous hours on the grind is one of the biggest factors behind his success. However, to break the cycle, the WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight champion gave MMA training a go. Working with former UFC middleweight Luke Barnatt, AJ threw in some heavy kicks and knees during a light-hearted training session.

 

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AJ, who is currently enjoying his time in the beautiful Spanish city of Marbella, will soon go into camp for his upcoming fight. Set to face Oleksandr Usyk on September 25, AJ has almost two months on his hands at the moment. He will return to England to start his camp soon.

Can we see Anthony Joshua enter MMA competition?

The 31-year-old has entertained the thought of giving mixed martial arts a go in the past. In 2017, AJ told Sky Sports, “I like fighting, I’d do whatever. I’d probably get beaten. The only thing that they can’t do is submissions, but they can kick, elbow, whatever they want. Just no submissions.”

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For now, AJ is set for one of his toughest challenges to date. He will defend his belts against the mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. Given the nature of the upcoming fight, he will look to use his speed and agility. Although Joshua is known for his incredible athleticism as a heavyweight, he will be facing a guy in Usyk who is much lighter on his feet. Usyk, on the flip side, is bulking up to take on the much bigger man.

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The training leading up to the fight will be crucial for either athlete. Will Joshua’s power reign supreme over Usyk’s speed-based game? We’ll find out on September 25.

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Akshit Pushkarna

94 articles

Akshit Pushkarna, who has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication, is an MMA writer for EssentiallySports. Before his current role, Akshit worked on the Urban Development beat at the Urban Update magazine. However, combat sports always called out to Akshit, who pursued both boxing and wrestling at a regional level before shifting his focus to MMA journalism.

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