ANTHONY JOSHUA is working on thudding body shots in his bid to exact revenge on Oleksandr Usyk.

The 32-year-old British boxing hero was dethroned of his WBA, IBF and WBO crowns in September after he tried to outbox the southpaw mastermind, 35.


And he has vowed to return to his old ruthless style for the summer rematch targeted for Saudi Arabia.

Working with new head trainer Angel Fernandez at their Loughborough University gym, AJ fired 16 punishing shots into the Spanish coach’s body belt and looked like his prime KO artist former self.

Friend and stablemate Derek Chisora enjoyed some early success targeting Usyk’s body when they clashed last year.

And Joshua might be trying to improve on that blueprint as he practises driving left and right hands into Usyk’s torso.

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Admitting he made a mistake trying to outmanoeuvre the leftie genius, Joshua said: “That was my game plan because I thought I could compete with him as a boxer. And I think he won two more rounds than I did. That's how he became champion. 

“So the goal now is to go back to basics and go for the knockout. 

“I always feel, when I'm sparring or fighting people, I actually see their spirit get dampened. 

“Honestly, when you're looking at this person directly in their eyes and watching their body, you can read the body and punch after punch this person is slowly fading.

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“Now when you're boxing, the art of boxing is to hit and not get hit. So you're kind of boxing to stay away. That's not really my style.

"My style is to be up close and personal and make it difficult for the person. So that's the game plan.”

AJ confirmed just hours after the unanimous points loss that he wanted to snap up the immediate rematch.

July 23 has long been the planned date but we are now just eight weeks away and promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed last week that unless it was confirmed before this weekend, it was likely to be delayed.

The Matchroom boss said last Thursday: "The fight is definitely happening, the 23rd is the date that everyone has agreed on and everyone is fine with. If we agree next week then everything is fine. 

“The date of the fight and the time to train are not the problems, it is more about the extra obligations of TV, press conferences and promotion.

“Eight weeks out feels OK but once you get down to seven and six, it’s a problem.

“Both fighters know that if we have to do a media tour then it needs to happen in the next 10-14 days. Beyond that we will have to move it back a week or two.

“If we go July 23 then we are nine weeks away and we need to announce next week, it has to be next week.

“They will want us to do a media tour, we would have to go to the Middle East and London, maybe even New York, so we really need to announce next week."

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