ANTHONY JOSHUA has been backed to leave Oleksandr Usyk in "serious agony" by learning the secrets to beating southpaws.

AJ was bettered by the Ukrainian lefty over 12 rounds last September but the pair are confirmed to rematch on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.

Watching from behind-the-scenes is cruiserweight contender Richard Riakporhe, who shares the same Loughborough gym with Joshua.

Riakporhe has knocked out three southpaw in his 15-0 career, two of which this year while training alongside AJ.

The unbeaten Londoner is confident if Joshua, 32, can replicate his blueprint, Usyk, 35, will be left painfully in trouble.

Riakporhe, 32, told SunSport: "From what I’m seeing, he’s looking very, very dangerous for Usyk in that next fight.

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“I feel like that fight is going to end in a KO and AJ is going to get that knockout.

“There’s something about southpaw fighters, if you know how to deal with them right, you’ll win all the time. I’m living proof of that.

“There’s a certain way to defeat them and if you do it right, they’ll go through serious agony."

Joshua left long-time coach Rob McCracken and the Team GB's Sheffield HQ.

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He has since promoted No2 trainer Angel Fernandez and linked up with the Spanish cornerman in his Leicestershire base.

AJ is joined in the gym by southpaw specialist Riakporhe, who revealed the British superstar is on a collision course.

He said: “I feel like he’s going to get that knockout, he’s got the mindset and everything is coming together.

“He’s in good spirits, he’s hungry, he’s doing everything he needs to do to get that W. And I believe he will.

“I’ve seen him in the gym personally, living the life, so I will put all my chips on Anthony Joshua.”

Joshua has also brought in esteemed US mastermind Robert Garcia, who cornered Riakporhe is his recent KO win over Fabio Turchi, 28.

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The new set up and team has left AJ aspiring for even more, with his eyes set on becoming a three-time unified heavyweight champion.

Riakporhe commented: “I’m very inspired, with what he’s achieved it’s absolutely ridiculous.

“Every single day he comes to the gym, he’s not flashy, he’s humble, I mean he’s just hungry.

“With what he’s achieved so far, you have to give him the respect as most people would say, ‘Listen, if I get £10million, I’d go missing, I’m going on holiday’.

“This guy has made way more money than that and he’s back in the gym. I look at him and think I have no excuses.

“I have to get back on it and I feel like that’s why I’ve increased my activity, I want to be like a throwback fighter.

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“It’s hard to say that if you’re not fighting a certain amount of times a year.

"Other fighters are fine with saying that, but me, I feel like it’s a disrespect.”


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