ANTHONY JOSHUA has been calling on the help of elite amateurs to help replicate and prepare for Oleksandr Usyk’s style.
Joshua will defend his unified heavyweight titles against his fellow Olympic gold medalist at Tottenham’s stadium on Saturday.
And to leave the capital with the belts still around his waist he will need to do what no man he done before in professional boxing – hand Usyk a loss.
The Ukrainian is 18-0 with undisputed cruiserweight titles to his name as well as two wins at heavyweight.
But despite moving up, Usyk has still been able to maintain his slick, nimble and slippery southpaw style.
His footwork, combination punching and evasive boxing resembles that of an elite amateur rather than a modern day heavyweight powerhouse.
So Joshua drafted in the likes of Croatian Marko Milun and German Viktor Jurk in sparring to get to grips with Usyk’s menacing style.
Speaking via the Betway Insider blog Milun said: “I think he chose me and other amateurs as sparring partners because he needed guys similar to Usyk.
“Usyk fights like an amateur boxer more than a normal professional and maybe that’s why he wanted me and Viktor Jurk and other amateurs.
“The only professional in camp was Shokran Parwani when I was there.”
Joshua, 31, weighed in at 17st 2lbs for his last fight, a ninth-round knockout against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev, 40, in December.
But Usyk, 34, scaled only 15st 7lbs before he overcame an early scare to beat Derek Chisora, 37, on points over 12 rounds.
Recent pictures appeared to prove former champion was bulking up with rumours of a 16stone target weight.
Joshua then rubbished worries that he is planning to lose weight to match Usyk’s athleticism and recently said he was ‘solid as a rock’.
Sparring partner Milun warned to expect a chess match opposed to all-out brawl but backed AJ to outmuscle the challenger.
He said: “I saw in camp that AJ is really smart and he does the right things and I think he’ll win this fight.
Joshua vs Usyk: All the TV, stream and undercard info ahead of Saturday’s heavyweight bout
“Usyk is also smart but I think AJ has better qualities; he’s bigger, stronger and can punch harder.
“He has worked hard for this and I think he’ll beat him. AJ will be at home, the crowd will be behind him and my prediction is AJ will win comfortably.
“But I will tell you that this will be a smart fight, not a war.”