Probably the most important match of his career awaits Anthony Joshua on August 20 this year. The 32-year-old "AJ" will try to get revenge against Oleksandr Usyk and thus return the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO world champion titles to his possession.
Joshua lost all those belts on September 25 last year, precisely from Oleksandr Usyk. A similar thing happened to Joshua already in 2019, but in the same year, he got revenge against Andy Ruiz, who then inflicted the first defeat in his career.
Once again, Joshua will look for a chance for revenge in Saudi Arabia, but this time he will have an even harder job. Oleksandr Usyk is undefeated in his career so far and was dominant in the first match against Joshua. Additionally, Usyk will be motivated by the situation in Ukraine, because he is eager to send a strong message that he would send with his performance against one of the most popular boxers today.
"AJ" could have refused the rematch and tried to build confidence over a weaker opponent, but he still didn't choose that. Joshua showed that he still believes in himself and decided on the option of an instant rematch.
The great British heavyweight believes that he still does not enjoy the respect he deserves, especially from the American boxing public. Joshua feels that the loss to Ruiz hurt his status among American boxing fans, and he plans to gain more respect by winning against Usyk.
I feel like I never got that respect
"I feel like I never got that respect. “When I came into this division it was whack and I thought ‘let me get in this game and take on anyone and everyone, it doesn’t matter who.
Maybe it was because I was British that nobody was respecting my thing.I wanted to bring the heavyweight division to Great Britain and show that we are solid. Because I think that sometimes people just think we drink tea and eat biscuits and sit with the Queen.
I used to have people say things like 'yo AJ, dawg, what’s the Queen like?’ I felt I was not getting looked upon as someone who was a dominant force in the heavyweight division. People seemed to just think I was Anthony Joshua who liked looking in the mirror and had an ego"
By winning against Klitschko, Joshua almost certainly won the respect of the global boxing public. Unfortunately, Joshua seems to think he deserves even more respect and is highly motivated to earn it with a win against Usyk.
"When big Anthony Joshua wins and becomes three-time heavyweight world champion, I am going to dash the belts, because you have to learn to respect ME as a person. I don’t want to be respected because of the belts that I hold.
I want to be respected for the man you see." added Joshua. This opinion and motivation on Joshua's part is interesting, and whether it will be enough to defeat Usyk remains to be seen.