EDDIE HEARN has been left stunned by Oleksandr Usyk’s insane body transformation – but he’s still backing Anthony Joshua to do a number on him in their Saudi showdown.
The unified heavyweight champion has put on several pounds of muscle since teaching AJ a boxing lesson in their Tottenham tussle last September.
And the 35-year-old’s new hulking physique – which no longer looks like that of a puffed-up cruiserweight – has astounded Hearn.
When asked about the Ukrainian’s new frame, the Matchroom Boxing chief told Boxing Social: “He looks really big!”
The slick southpaw effortlessly danced around the Watford warrior and picked his shots beautifully under the bright lights of Spurs stadium.
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But Hearn is expecting a more aggressive approach from the beefed-up defending champion next weekend, saying: “I expect him [Usyk] to try and walk AJ down.”
Joshua, 32, has teamed up with multiple world champion coach Robert Garcia to exact revenge on the undefeated Usyk.
And Hearn believes the golden boy of British boxing will get the job done before the fight goes over the halfway point.
He said: “I think this fight will be over in six rounds. I think it’s going to be a war.”
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“I don’t think Usyk wants to be walked down by AJ, to box off the back foot against an aggressive Anthony Joshua.
“I expect him to be aggressive, and I think he’s going to get knocked out.”
Two-time unified champion Joshua paid the price for timidly trying to outbox his fellow London 2012 Olympian but insists he won’t make the same mistake again.
He said: “The goal now is to go back to basics and go for the knockout.
“I always feel, when I’m sparring or fighting people, I actually see their spirit get dampened.
“Honestly, when you’re looking at this person directly in their eyes and watching their body, you can read the body and punch after punch this person is slowly fading.
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“Now when you’re boxing, the art of boxing is to hit and not get hit. So you’re kind of boxing to stay away. That’s not really my style.
“My style is to be up close and personal and make it difficult for the person. So that’s the game plan.”