Manager Says Oleksandr Usyk’s Sparring Partners ‘Can’t Keep Up’
Some of Oleksandr Usyk’s training partners just can’t keep up.
At least that’s what the manager of Kazakh heavyweight Nursultan Amanzholov – one of Usyk’s sparring partners – said of the ongoing camp.
“He [Amanzholov] says there are days when Usyk goes to war with him. It’s not easy to hurt to Nursultan but he’s been on the receiving end a few times. But a lot of his heavyweights have been sent back home, if they can’t stay in camp. They can’t keep up,” Amanzholov’s manager Aamir Ali told Sky Sports.
“… He said as soon as [Usyk] came back from Jeddah, from the press conference, the day he arrived back, he phoned up Nursultan who was sitting in his hotel and said to him, ‘I want you sparring today.’ Literally got off the plane and started sparring straightaway and [Amanzholov] said he was in a foul mood. He was in a really angry mood, wanted to go to war. Anthony Joshua’s in trouble.”
Usyk has been preparing for the contracted rematch against Anthony Joshua ever since he was able to leave his war-torn country of Ukraine.
The unified heavyweight joined a territorial defense when Russia attacked Ukraine in February.
He was one of a few fighters who went back home to help defend against the invasion, including former lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and Bellator champion Yaroslav Amosov – both of whom were last reported to be in Ukraine still.
Usyk shocked Joshua when he edged the Brit with a unanimous decision win in September. Usyk became one of three heavyweights to have previously won a cruiserweight title.
Joshua has made adjustments to his corner. He swapped career-long trainer Robert McCracken for Robert Garcia.
“[Usyk] was sending heavyweights, six foot six and whatnot back home. Nursultan was the one of the only heavyweights that he kept on throughout the whole camp. Because he would actually challenge him and give him a very tough time and from what I understand there were points where Nursultan was being told by Usyk, ‘No I need you to come on harder.’ Like don’t hold back on me, just go to war,” Ali added.