Will AJ’s weight reveal his brutal intentions?

Anthony Joshua’s intimidating physique will be displayed at today’s weigh-in, but has he primed his body for speed or power? The Panel of experts deliver their verdict…

Britain’s heavyweight star will have a final face-off with Oleksandr Usyk at today’s weigh-in before their world title fight on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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But has Joshua packed on muscle or shed pounds for his crucial showdown with Usyk?

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Joshua plans to showcase his boxing skills along with his strength

Adam Smith

I’ve been lucky enough to watch Anthony Joshua spar in Sheffield. He looks light, he looks lean and mobile. AJ has used his sparring sessions to try things out and he looks extremely relaxed.

No, I don’t expect him to come in anywhere near that career-heaviest weight when he fought Carlos Takam. AJ came in about 17st 3lbs for Joseph Parker and I think he’ll be around the same, maybe 17st 3lbs to 17st 6lbs. Around that weight is where I think he’s best.

He might even be a little bit lighter, because he sees this as a very hard, 12-round fight, where legs are the key. I think AJ will be light on the scales, but he will still have the power at heavyweight, which could be the big difference.

At any stage, we’ve seen Joshua carry his power, whether it’s an early knockout win against Charles Martin, Eric Molina, or later on against Wladimir Klitschko and Kubrat Pulev.

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Usyk will try to take command in the later rounds, says Spencer Oliver

Matthew Macklin

For AJ’s last couple of fights, the Ruiz Jr rematch and the Pulev fight, he’s been considerably lighter than he was. I think Joshua has realised he’s been a little too big and bulky. He now wants to get back to speed, punch combinations and working behind his jab. Not just trying to blast people out of there.

Joshua now knows his optimum weight. He doesn’t want to go too light, because you don’t want to lose too much muscle. But you don’t want to be carrying excess weight that is unnecessary.

Carl Froch

Joshua knows when he’s been too heavy. I think he’s performed better at around 17st, which is what he weighed for the Pulev fight.

AJ will give his plan away, if he comes in heavy. Usyk is also expected to weigh more, which I think is going to be a mistake.

If AJ comes in much lighter, then he’s going to try and box and move, and I would be a bit concerned about that. But if he comes in heavy, then he’ll try to destroy Usyk and smash him to bits.

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Joshua vs Usyk could be a ‘Fight of the Year’, says promoter Eddie Hearn

Johnny Nelson

I’ve seen AJ and he looks sleek, he looks strong. AJ looks like an athletic heavyweight, which tells me that he’s ready to go the full 12 rounds. He really tailors his training for the opponent in front of him.

He’s coming in against a guy who is lighter, fleet-footed, and agile, so therefore he’s got to combat that, but still keep his heavyweight power. I think AJ has found the ideal weight that works best for him.

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Usyk could be hampered by extra weight in the Joshua fight, says Johnny Nelson

George Groves

Joshua is a big powerful guy whether he’s near the top end of his career weight, or if he’s lighter. He’ll probably come in close to the weight he was for Kubrat Pulev. He doesn’t need to be much heavier, because he’s got to contend with Usyk’s evasive style.

I think Joshua will want to be light enough to prevent Usyk from just peppering him with punches. Usually you have better punch resistance when you’re heavier, but you have less mobility.

His weight could well be a clue to what they’ve got planned.

David Coldwell

I believe AJ has got to weigh what is going to allow him to be athletic and have sharp feet. If he has slow feet, if he’s ponderous in any way once those mid-rounds come in, then that’s playing into Usyk’s hands.

You look at his boxing ability in his last couple of fights, he’s getting better, he’s getting smoother, and he’s getting sharp with his movement. AJ is feinting more, he’s varying up his punches, and for him to do that, he can’t be too heavy.

Whatever he weighs, it will be tailored towards a sharp style.

Watch Joshua v Usyk on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office, from 6pm. Book it via your Sky remote or book it online here. Non-Sky TV subscribers can book and watch it here.

Source : Sky Sports