By: Sean Crose
“He lost to an amazing fighter,” former supermiddleweight titlist Carl Froch told iFL TV after witnessing Oleksandr Usyk’s impressive win over heavyweight multi-titlist Anthony Joshua last weekend, “probably one of the best southpaws operators of all time.” While there’s few if any who are willing to argue that Usyk isn’t an incredible fighter, Froch feels Joshua holds a good amount of blame for the loss. “What he did in the ring wasn’t good enough,” he said of his fellow Brit. “He underperformed for whatever reason…bad performance for AJ.” Still, Froch believes Joshua can come back and regain his titles, much as he did after losing to Andy Ruiz in 2019.
“It would have been nice to see him stick it on Usyk,” said Froch. “I think he can come back, but it’s a bad one to swallow…it’s a tough one to prepare for in the rematch.” Froch went on to explain how Joshua could have better performed last weekend. “I couldn’t believe what was happening,” Froch said of the fight. “He should have jabbed the shoulder and tried to start to evolve his combination punches and just t try to land the single right-hand downstairs or off the shoulder, and with that then he can build on it.” Froch also brought up what Joshua shouldn’t do when facing a fighter like Usyk. “You don’t take him on at his own game,” he said, “and try to box with him and beat him on points.”
Froch has experience when it comes to situations like the one Joshua finds himself in at the moment. Although he bested George Groves in their first battle in 2014, many felt the referee stopped the fight early, at a moment where Froch had his man in trouble. What was notable, however, was the fact Groves had previously been giving the defending champion Froch all kinds of trouble. What’s more, Groves appeared to be in Froch’s head in the lead up to their blockbuster rematch. To his credit, Froch was able to rise to the occasion in the second fight and knock Groves out outright.
“AJ can certainly win the Usyk fight,” Froch says of a Joshua-Usyk rematch. “Of course, he can beat Usyk, but he’s got to do it.” Asked whether Joshua’s confidence might be shaken leading into a second Usyk battle, Froch was perfectly clear. “He’s a human being,” he said of Joshua, “of course he’ll have doubts.”
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