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Anthony Joshua: On Saturday I’m going to smash Oleksandr Usyk

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Anthony Joshua has pledged to rediscover the aggressive side of his boxing when he faces Oleksandr Usyk in Saturday’s rematch, live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office.

“I wanted to outbox my opponent, whether it was Usyk or anyone else, that was the mindset [in the first fight]. I wanted to outbox my opponent and on Saturday I want to smash my opponent,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.

Joshua acknowledges an action-packed, destructive approach had been key for so much of the early success in his career.

“I was amateur for three and a half years and I done a lot in that time and I asked myself how? It wasn’t down to the skill element, because I was outclassed in terms of skill and experience by a lot of my competitors on the world scene, but that aggression,” he reflected

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“That will was something that couldn’t be denied. Then as you get more experience you try to develop as a rounded athlete. But ultimately, you can’t take your eye off the factor of what got you to where you are which is, as you said, that aggressiveness.

In that sense, Joshua will bring back his old self for this fight with Usyk.

“It’s never really been lost. The path is always there. It’s not like I’m trying to rediscover a path. I always understand where that is. I just tried to be more elusive and add more strings to my bow,” he said.

“I was focusing more on different things in my career, for example having a better jab, hitting and not getting hit. You’ve got to focus on that aggressive aspect, that competitive spirit and at the end of the day, I don’t give a damn about your jab, I don’t care how good that jab is, I don’t care how good this is. I don’t care how good you are – my competitive spirit will overcome all obstacles.

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“That is something you should never neglect in your search for improvements. Your competitive nature can take you a long way.”

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Against Usyk this time around, Joshua promises to be back with a vengeance.

Victory in this rematch would see Joshua recover the WBO, WBA and IBF titles he lost to Usyk in September. But even then he would not consider himself the best heavyweight in the world, not without fighting Tyson Fury.

“Unless he’s 100 per cent retired, you’ve got to beat Fury as well,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.

“This isn’t about Fury, with all due respect. That’s just my view on that. As it stands you’re just a winner, you’re a winner at the end of the day. There’s always another challenge out there.

“Until you retire, you’re always going to be challenged to prove you’re the best in the world. The minute you say you’re the best, is the minute you should pack up. That’s enough on that Tyson Fury situation.”

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Olise’s late strike gets Palace point against United

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Michael Olise has helped Crystal Palace get a point against Manchester United in their 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

The midfielder’s late strike in extra-time, 91′, levelled the game against United, who had controlled the lead since the 43rd minute of the first half after Bruno Fernandes’ fine finish put the Red Devils ahead just before the break.

A relentless Olise scored from a free kick with a left-footed shot to the top right corner. The equalising goal saw United’s dream of replacing defending EPL champions City in the second place on the league table, fade away, as they remain third with 39 points, having played a game more than City.

Crystal Palace remains in 12th place with 23 points.

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Atletico Madrid head coach speaks on leaving Atletico Madrid

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Atletico Madrid head coach, Diego Simeone, has insisted that nobody has personally told him to leave the club.

Rumours have persisted that Simeone, 52, could be set to end this 11-year stay at Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.

However, the Argentine has now stated that no one at the club has asked him to quit the La Liga giants.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Atletico Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie with Levante on Wednesday night, Simeone said when asked about reports suggesting he would leave the club at the end of the season: “No one has personally asked me to leave.”

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However, having already been eliminated from UEFA Champions League and sitting 13 points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, the Copa del Rey is Atletico Madrid’s last realistic opportunity for a trophy this season.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Simeone’s side, as they sit fourth in the league.

Simeone added, “The boys are enthusiastic to reverse this situation that we have experienced since the break and prior to the World Cup. It’s been a regular to a bad season. For me, there is growth after the break, hopefully, we will continue in that line.”

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EPL: Frank Lampard won’t run away – Shaun Wright-Phillips

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Former Chelsea player, Shaun Wright-Phillips has backed his former teammate, Frank Lampard to stay at Goodison Park and turn things around.

Wright-Phillips said his former team-mate does not run away from challenges such as Everton is facing now but would face them squarely

Lampard is in danger of being sacked any moment from now after yet another defeat on Friday.

Everton crashed out of the FA Cup on Friday after they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester United at Old Trafford

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Frank Lampard has now led Toffees to six defeats in their last seven matches and they have also crashed out of the Carabao Cup and are currently 18th in the Premier League.

“Frank Lampard has always been a player and a person that won’t run away from things not going well,” Wright-Phillips told the BBC.

“He is the type of person to try and solve it or try and make the situation a lot better…”

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