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‘Made him mentally better’ – Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk ‘opened his eyes’ with Brit tipped to get revenge

ANTHONY JOSHUA’S stablemate Frazer Clarke believes the heavyweight star is mentally stronger heading into his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

The British icon, 32, had his WBA, WBO and IBF titles ripped away by the unbeaten Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

Anthony Joshua is looking to win back his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles

Joshua was outpointed by Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September

AJ and Usyk are expected to meet in a rematch planned for July 23 with the 2012 Olympic gold medallist looking to become a three-time world champion.

No location has yet been announced, but promoter Eddie Hearn has declared the blockbuster bout could take place in the Middle East.

He told iFL TV: “I think there’s a very good chance you’ll see that fight July 23rd in the Middle East. We’re closing in on that option.”

Joshua has good memories of fighting in the Middle East having beat Andy Ruiz Jr in their December 2019 rematch in Saudi Arabia.



AJ can become ‘one of the greatest heavyweights ever’ if he beats Usyk and Fury

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Should the fight take place in the Gulf nation, AJ could earn as much as £100million.

Following his defeat to Usyk, Joshua has promoted Angel Fernandez from coach to head trainer in place of longtime mentor Rob McCracken.

Heavyweight prospect Clarke, who is also trained by Fernandez, believes the Watford native will be better prepared mentally for his second meeting with Usyk.

He told Sky Sports: “I think the loss has made him better. He’s opened his eyes a bit.

“It’s made him mentally better. I think he knows what he needs to do.

“I think he’s changed his situation, which he thinks will help him.

“He’s got a team of people that are dedicated for one thing, and that’s AJ getting the result.

“You can’t write Usyk off, he’s an unbelievable fighter.

“But I’d like to think AJ’s in a place where he can go on and get this win.”