Anthony Joshua ‘asked security guard how to fight a southpaw’ on Usyk ring walk

Johnny Nelson has recalled the time Anthony Joshua asked a security guard how he'd fight a southpaw before his first fight against Oleksandr Usyk.

AJ was shockingly dominated by Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in September 2021, with the Ukrainian going on to comfortably win their rematch in Saudi Arabia last August too to leave the Brit's career in tatters.

However, it was no surprise he'd struggled to cope with Usyk after it emerged he'd consulted his head of security and former heavyweight Clifton Mitchell for advice just moments before their clash in London.

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The moment was discussed on William Hill's Up Front With Simon Jordan podcast. The host said: “I heard from a leading trainer that before Anthony went in to one of the Usyk fights, Lawrence Okolie was fighting on the undercard, and Anthony was talking to one of the trainers asking what he should do in his fight against Usyk.”

Guest Nelson responded: “I’ve got one better than that. He was walking to the ring against Usyk, my friend was the head of security walking next to him, Joshua said to him ‘how would you fight a southpaw?’, on the way to the ring!

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"What I’m trying to say is that what he’s displaying to me is that right now a two-time heavyweight world champion is in a fight and he’s looking over at his corner man, and I’m thinking ‘what are you doing?’

“He should be at the point where the muzzle comes off, he goes in and gets the job done, then he comes back out and you put the muzzle back on, but he’s still thinking and acting like a novice.

"He’s still acting like a kid that doesn’t know what he’s doing and if you don’t know by now, you’re never going to know.”

Eddie Hearn previously discussed the exchange in the weeks after the fight on True Geordie’s Pain Game podcast. He said: “When he gets in the ring Clifton Mitchell, his head of security, is there and he is of course a former heavyweight champion.

“And he goes in to the ring and starts talking to him about the fight, ‘oh what do you think Clifton?’ and that is a sign that there is a lack of confidence in the gameplan and what you have to do.

“If you know categorically what you have to do and if you don’t do it you will be f****** told during that one minute break between rounds, you don’t go searching for the answers.

“The problem is with AJ is that he is smart, but he needs to know that he has the strategy right and is prepared with repetition."


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