Ricky Hatton fears for Anthony Joshua in Oleksandr Usyk rematch after spotting ‘worrying sign’ in defeat
RICKY HATTON fears Anthony Joshua could potentially be stopped by Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch.
The Watford warrior, 31, is set to renew his rivalry with the newly-crowned unified heavyweight champion early next year after activating his rematch clause.
Joshua was outboxed by the slick southpaw in their Tottenham tussle last weekend and was close to being finished in the 12th round.
And Hatton believes the pace Usyk fought at in the final stanza showed he's got another gear he can operate in.
The Hitman wrote in his Metro Column: "He maintained it from start to finish and I think in the last round when he put his foot on the gas.
"He was saying to AJ: ‘This still isn’t my best. I’ve still got some more to come here.’
"It was a bit of a warning there for AJ for this rematch. ‘Look what I can really do when I put my foot down.’ Which is a very worrying sign for AJ."
Defeat to Usyk has potentially permanently scuppered the long-awaited Battle of Britain between Joshua and Tyson Fury.
JOIN SUN VEGAS: GET A FREE £10 BONUS WITH 100s OF GAMES TO PLAY AND NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED (Ts&Cs apply)
Hatton said: "I am genuinely gutted. We as British fight fans wanted to see AJ get the win.
"He has done the country so proud, he is a lovely fella. Tyson is my mate and he’s gone through so many bad times I want him to get to the very top and getting those two in the ring was the one we as fight fans wanted more than anything.
"So I do feel for AJ. He is a good man.
"Joshua vs Fury would have been their defining fight. Although AJ’s career isn’t over yet – far from it – that is the fight we all wanted."
Olympic gold medallist Joshua admits he adopted the wrong game plan for his ill-fated title defence.
He said: "I've watched the fight, analysed my preparations and identified my mistakes.
He was saying to AJ: ‘This still isn’t my best. I’ve still got some more to come here.’
"I've learnt my lesson. Don't worry about me. My spirit is strong!"
Despite being taught a lesson by Usyk, Joshua is confident of getting the better of the Ukrainian in their rematch.
He said: "If you look at it from a negative point of view, you're never going to have that mindset that you can make a difference because you're down anyway.
"But if you look at it from a positive point of view, and realise, 'Yeah, I took a loss.
"'But that's a lesson, that's a blessing. I can use it as fuel to get better.
"'And use it as fuel to right my wrongs. You can only get better from there.
"So I'm not gonna hold myself down from the mistake I made, I'm only gonna uplift myself and say, 'Actually, you know what? That was a tough fight.
"'But from that fight, I'm gonna go away, get my notepad out and find ways to improve."
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
Source: Read Full Article