“Andre Ward not the most talented but very strategic” – AJ urged to mimic

Anthony Joshua Oleksandr Usyk

Matchroom

A heavyweight rival of Anthony Joshua has urged the former world champion to copy Andre Ward’s boxing approach to get back on top.

Michael Hunter, a highly-ranked contender, believes A.J. applied the wrong tactics completely when attempting to bo Oleksandr Usyk.

The exceptional Ukrainian then did what many expected and completed a victory on the cards to take Joshua’s titles.

Now, as a rematch lies in wait, Hunter says the Briton should take a leaf out of Ward’s book.

The ‘S.O.G.’ became pound for pound king despite shortcomings described by Hunter.

“It [Joshua vs. Usyk] went exactly as I said it was going to go,” Hunter told Sky Sports. “Anthony Joshua did exactly what I said.

“The game-plan that he came out with, the strategic game-plan, or his trainers, I wouldn’t put it all on him.

“To go out there and try and box a pure boxer was not the best move for him. But I think he can improve in the next fight.

“He’s a fighter, obviously, but I feel like he doesn’t really know the laws of fighting. He knows the rules, but I feel like he doesn’t know how to apply the laws of fighting.”

Andre Ward Sergey Kovalev
Roc Nation Sports

ANDRE WARD

On potentially mimicking Ward, Hunter added: “A lot of these guys, we can use Andre Ward, for example. He’s not the most talented person, but he’s very strategic in what he does.

“We all know it’s a learning curve for Anthony Joshua. He’s continued to grow since the Olympics. He’s only getting better.

“I think he’ll do well. It’s a good opportunity to get his revenge,” he concluded.

Joshua goes into a second fight with Usyk as a massive underdog. There are even calls for Joshua to avoid another defeat and go straight for Tyson Fury.

In that case, Joshua would still be able to challenge for a world title. However, a lot depends on a forthcoming ruling by the WBC.

If Fury is mandated to battle Dillian Whyte, his next move becomes academic unless he’s willing to vacate the green and gold strap.

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