Eddie Hearn on why Round 6 is crucial in Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2

·2 min read

Eddie Hearn has explained why the sixth round may be crucial in Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

Joshua was outpointed by Usyk in London last September, losing the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles to the unbeaten Ukrainian.

On Saturday, Joshua will seek to regain the belts and avenge the loss in another 12-round clash, with his promoter Hearn echoing the feeling of many pundits that “AJ” must go for the knockout.

“I just feel like he’s gonna do everything right and let those hands go,” Hearn said at Tuesday’s open workouts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where the rematch will take place.

“If he lets those hands go, I really believe he wins this fight. I’ve said to him before: By the time that bell rings at the end of the sixth round, I want this fight over or I want Oleksandr Usyk physically in a place that he wishes he never will return to.

“If you let this man [Usyk] get into his rhythm, you have no chance of winning this fight. That’s what happened in the first fight; sixth round passed, Usyk gets better and better, he figures you out, and before you know it you’re sitting back in the changing room.

“Get in there, get amongst it, make it count, make him pay. This has to be a smash and grab. Go in there and steamroll this man.”

Oleksandr Usyk during open workouts for his rematch with Anthony Joshua (AFP via Getty Images)
Oleksandr Usyk during open workouts for his rematch with Anthony Joshua (AFP via Getty Images)

Joshua previously lost and regained the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles in 2019, dropping them to Andy Ruiz Jr before reclaiming them in an instant rematch.

Ruiz Jr stopped the Briton in June of that year in a seismic upset at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, before Joshua outpointed the Mexican-American six months later in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“I’m biased, I’ve been deluded at times, but I’m just a massive AJ fan,” Hearn added.

“I just see a guy putting a lot of pressure on himself, I see a guy who wants it so bad, I see a guy that’s punching very sharply and is gonna be very nervous to pounce on Saturday night.”