Oleksandr Usyk admitted he “would love to do the same thing” to Anthony Joshua after watching how the latter lost his title and unbeaten streak. He expressed he has desired to do the same to the former heavyweight champion
He is the mandatory challenger to the WBO title that Andy Ruiz Jr took from Joshua in a New York upset in June.
Joshua is expected to rematch Ruiz Jr later this year with IBF, WBA and WBO gold at stake before Usyk receives his mandated opportunity. Usyk previously said his preference would be to challenge Joshua because “if you want to be the best, you have to fight the best”.
Usyk told Sky Sports: “I’m very grateful that they made me a mandatory challenger. I know that it doesn’t happen for no reason.
“They have nowhere to go. Everything is already set up in place.
“All we need is to just wait for the events to happen and I will definitely be boxing with one of them.”
He expressed his view that he had hoped to be the first pro opponent to bring down Joshua.
“There is ego in every man, and I felt that I would love to do the same thing that happened in the ring.
“But you know, it’s boxing, you never know how it will go. Later on, I gave it a second thought and analysed it and came to the conclusion that there was nothing bad in what happened.
“Joshua had some problems that night and Ruiz Jr didn’t have that problem.”
Usyk and Joshua both won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics in London then amassed 38 combined unbeaten pro fights, and a combined seven world championships, until Joshua lost to Ruiz Jr.
Ukrainian pound-for-pound star Usyk became the undisputed cruiserweight champion beating Michael Hunter, Marco Huck, Mairis Breidis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew in their respective home countries.
He will go up a division to challenge for heavyweight gold but insists that Joshua does not have a weakness in dealing with shorter, smaller opponents.
“I don’t think that’s the reason [that Joshua lost to Ruiz Jr],” Usyk said.
“There is a general problem that takes place. It doesn’t matter whether your opponent is tall or short. It doesn’t matter whether you fight a two-metre tall guy, or a 1.80m guy.
“You are preparing with sparring partners that look exactly like your opponent. If he really has a problem with boxing with short people, then it’s a really big problem.”
A bicep injury to Usyk forced him to postpone his planned heavyweight debut against Carlos Takam earlier this year. He now expects to fight Takam in October in the USA.
“I don’t think that me gaining weight caused an injury,” he said. “The injury happened because of the combination of factors. I do believe that God sometimes slows me down to then cheer me up to move faster. I don’t think that injury happened because I gained weight.
“First of all, I have to focus on my preparation and only after that, I will watch Joshua’s fight.”