Oleksandr Usyk says his coach gave him the green light to begin pressuring Anthony Joshua after the ninth round in their rematch last August.
After the ninth, it was the watershed moment for Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), as he thought about what his comrades in Ukraine were going through, and he felt that what he was dealing with against Joshua paled in comparison.
Easily the best round for Joshua came in the ninth, when he attacked Usyk relentlessly, stunning him with some big shots and pressuring him up until the bell sounded.
Unfortunately for Joshua, he didn’t have enough left in the tank when Usyk up the pace of the fight in the 10th round. Fighting on fumes, Joshua was getting pummeled by Usyk in the tenth, and it was all he could do to stay upright under the hail of fire.
“In the ninth round I felt a lot of pressure. But I understood It was not as hard for me as for some guys on the front line. After round nine, I said to my coach, ‘Should I start?’ He said, ‘Go ahead,‘” said Oleksandr Usyk to talkSPORT.
Poor Joshua had no way of knowing what was in store for him when he came out for the tenth round. Joshua had just enjoyed his best round of the fight in the ninth, and his new coach Robert Garcia was pumping him with praise, believing that he was on his way to winning the fight.
If Robert had taken a good hard look at Joshua, he would have realized that he was totally exhausted and wasn’t going to be able to get his second win for the remainder of the fight.
When Joshua gasses out, he tends to stay that way for at least four rounds, and even then, it requires a lot of cheering from his fans to revive him.
“I don’t want to talk about the competence of the judges, but when I watched the rematch with Anthony Joshua, I can say that four, well, a maximum of five rounds can be given to Joshua,” said Usyk. “If Fury floats away, then maybe we will agree on a third fight with Joshua.”
Usyk isn’t factoring in the likelihood of Joshua & his promoter Eddie Hearn wanting no part of a third fight with him. That would be crazy for them to agree to the third match with Usyk.