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Carl Frampton has raised concerns that Anthony Joshua does not have the gas tank to maintain the high-intensity ‘bully’ tactics that many are recommending he implements in his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk. The former two-weight world champion like most believes ‘AJ’s’ path to victory on August 20 is in imposing his strength through roughhouse tactics – but has urged Joshua to do it in ‘spurts’.
“A lot of people are saying Usyk [wins] and it would be hard to disagree with them. It seems like it’s a hard fight for both guys but we know what Joshua has to do to try and beat Usyk – use his size and strength and be a bit of a bully,” Frampton told Sky Sports.
“But the thing that’s worrying me is I don’t think Joshua can do that for very long. That he can’t fight at a high pace and push people around and get close to them for a long fight. He needs to do it in spurts and I think when he does have a round where he uses a lot of energy, he has to take the next round off at times. That’s just because of the size of him really, and his build and his make-up.
“But I think that he has to get in close, he has to use roughhouse tactics and impose his strength. A bit like [Wladimir] Klitschko used to be able to do, hit people, push them down and just tire them out. But it’s whether he can do that or not.”
Joshua was visibly exhausted towards the end of the inaugural contest despite a more conservative approach than usual. In the twelfth round, a laboured Joshua slumped back into the ropes as Usyk poured on the pressure down the home straight to secure the unanimous decision victory.
After the contest, the Watford powerhouse was met with waves of criticism for fighting too ‘timidly’ with many claiming that Joshua had become ‘gun shy’ ever since sustaining the first defeat of his career against Andy Ruiz Jr back in 2019. But, in a similar vein to Frampton’s worries, boxing trainer Clifton Mitchell made suggestions that Joshua’s resistance to letting his hands go is due to a fear of ‘gassing out’.
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Talking to Seconds Out, he said: “I think Joshua can beat him and I also feel as though if he applies himself, and I think he’s not scared of being hit, he’s scared of gassing.
“So, if he can take that out of his head, listen it will still be a hard fight and it’s still going to be very close, but I think Joshua really needs to hit him hard. He needs to get hold of him and if he can’t get hold of him, he’s going to have a problem.”
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