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Joshua can’t beat Oleksandr Usyk with aggression


By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua may be barking up the wrong tree with his plans on using aggression to defeat Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday night.

6’9″ Raphael Akpejiori, who Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) used as one of his sparring partners during training camp, says aggression doesn’t work on the unified heavyweight champion. Indeed, the more aggressive you are, the worse it is for you when attacking Usyk.

Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) seems to be sold on the ideas of his new trainer Robert Garcia, who believes that the best strategy to defeat Usyk is to be aggressive with pressure & be physical.

According to the hard-hitting Nigerian Akpejiori (14-0, 13 KOs), it’s not going to work to be aggressive against Usyk because he’s too fast & elusive.

AJ would be better off fighting the way he did in the first fight with Usyk rather than attempting to bulldoze him with his power & size on Saturday night.

I hate to say it, but Joshua wasted his time, effort & money by hiring Robert Garcia as his trainer. AJ would have been better off sticking with his longtime trainer Rob McCracken, as he would have known that he was heading for disaster by trying to defeat a talent like Usyk with naked aggression.

“The thing about Usyk, he would run up his numbers on you,” said Raphael Akpejiori to Sky Sports.

“By the end of the first round, you realize he is throwing about a hundred punches on you. He would do that for the next 11 rounds, with no slowing in tempo,” said Akpejiori.

Unfortunately, Joshua is incapable of throwing a high number of punches to match Usyk’s output because if he does, he’ll gas out as he did in the first fight last September.

That’s why it was a mistake for Joshua to hire Robert Garcia because his game plan is for him to pressure and throw a lot of hurtful shots. It’s too late to dump Garcia now, so Joshua will have to do the best he can with his flawed game plan.

“He has a speed that no heavyweight has,” said Akpejiori. “I don’t know if aggression is the answer for AJ, but I’ll tell you that aggression is not the answer against Usyk.

“I think Usyk deals well with aggression. He has an amazing game-plan for whatever aggressive tactics AJ is going to come out with,” said Akpejiori.

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