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Oleksandr Usyk Is Going To War

Oleksandr Usyk spars ferociously hard for his August 20 rematch with Anthony Joshua. Kazakh heavyweight Nursultan Amanzholov, who had sparred with Usyk was recalled to his team to help prepare the champion for the rematch. Amanzholov revealed and gives an insight into the champion’s mindset for the Joshua fight, that Usyk is highly motivated and ‘is going to war’ mood in camp in Dubai.

Amanzholov’s manager Aamir Ali said the Ukrainian Usyk is looking “dangerous” in training.

Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine fights Anthony Joshua of Great Britain during their first Heavyweight Title fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“He (Amanzholov) says there are days when Usyk goes to war with him. It’s not easy to hurt to Nursultan but he’s been on the receiving end a few times. But a lot of his heavyweights have been sent back home, if they can’t stay in camp,” Ali said. “They can’t keep up.”

The Kazakh prospect has been training in Dubai with Usyk since June for this fight. “He says (Usyk) is in tremendous shape for this camp,” Amanzholov’s manager said.

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“He said as soon as (Usyk) came back from Jeddah, from the press conference, the day he arrived back, he phoned up Nursultan who was sitting in his hotel and said to him, ‘I want you sparring today.’ Literally got off the plane and started sparring straightaway and (Amanzholov) said he was in a foul mood. He was in a really angry mood, wanted to go to war.”

The 29-year-old Amanzholov was a seasoned amateur before he turned professional and is durable. He’s sparred heavy punchers before. “He took every shot in the book from (Daniel) Dubois, every shot in the book and didn’t move,” Ali said. “His feet, for a guy that big, are amazing.

“He’s had over 300 amateur fights so he’s a really, really tough kid. (He can take) a lot of punishment.”

But sparring Usyk has pushed his limits. He trained with the Ukrainian for his first fight with Anthony Joshua last year. Ali explained, “He was sending heavyweights, six foot six and whatnot back home. Nursultan was the one of the only heavyweights that he kept on throughout the whole camp. Because he would actually challenge him and give him a very tough time and from what I understand there were points where Nursultan was being told by Usyk, ‘No I need you to come on harder.’ Like don’t hold back on me, just go to war.”

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The signs are that an inspired Usyk is leaving nothing to chance as he goes into his second bout with Joshua. His IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles are on the line as well as the Ukrainian’s status in the division. That will all be decided on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

If that is the situation that will be faced by Anthony Joshua next month, then he is indeed in big trouble.

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