Oleksandr Usyk said he was “maybe 30 seconds or a minute” away from knocking down Anthony Joshua in the pair’s first fight.
Usyk defeated Joshua by unanimous decision in London last September, landing a series of punches, pinning the Briton against the ropes just before the final bell rang.
Ahead of the two’s rematch on August 20 in Saudi Arabia, Usyk was asked how close he felt to finishing off Joshua in that late attack.
“If there had been 30 seconds or another minute in the 12th round, Anthony would have gone down,” said the undefeated Ukrainian match.
“But I don’t think about it anymore because it’s just a guess. It happened as it happened. I boxed 12 rounds and won.”
Usyk, 35, clinched the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles from Joshua, 32, in the first meeting between the two.
Joshua will look to regain the belts when he faces Usyk again this month.
“He’s a strong guy and a strong boxer and he can’t be written off in any way,” Usyk said of Joshua. “In the rematch he will be different. He will prepare differently. I will do this too.”
Joshua’s loss to Usyk was the second of the Brit’s professional career, his first being to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019.
Ruiz Jr. TKO’d Joshua in June of that year at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “AJ” pitched the Mexican in December 2019 to regaining the heavyweight titles he lost in the pair’s first fight – the same belts he later dropped to Usyk.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/boxing/usyk-anthony-joshua-first-fight-b2142559.html Oleksandr Usyk believes he was 30 seconds away from knocking down Anthony Joshua in the first fight