EDDIE HEARN has rubbished suggestions Anthony Joshua is looking 'small' ahead of his clash with Oleksandr Usyk.
The Watford warrior is sporting a much trimmer physique for his unified heavyweight title defence against the Ukrainian at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
But Matchroom boxing chief Hearn has dismissed suggestions AJ has lost too much size, telling Pep Talk UK: “He doesn’t look small to me.
"He looks massive. He looks like an absolute unit, to be honest with you.
“His legs look huge, and powerful, and fast. With them, it’s never a case of, ‘I’m going to drop weight. What am I weighing today?’"
Hearn says Joshua's smaller frame is down to him moving away from heavy lifting and focusing more on the fundamentals of the sweet science.
He continued: “The difference in the training over the years [for Joshua] is that he’s gone from a guy that was lifting weights and doing a lot of powerstuff to a guy that is boxing.
“More sparring, more time on your feet, more time in the ring, more time on the pads, more rounds on the bag.
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"That’s what’s going to get you fitness over time.
“Before, he was extremely explosive, but after the tank was empty, how do you go through those championship rounds?
“When he boxed Dillian [Whyte], when he boxed [Charles] Martin, and when he boxed [Wladimir] Klitschko, he didn’t really know what he was doing.
“He was just big, strong, and tough with attributes and good fundamentals.
"Now he’s well-rounded and knows and understands the game.
"That makes you so much more difficult to beat."
Joshua has shed some of his trademark muscles in order to be ready to go 12 hard rounds with the smaller and fleet-footed Usyk.
He doesn’t look small to me. He looks massive.
He told Sky Sports: "I do look at my weight but I'm not trying to make weight because I'm a heavyweight.
"I tailor my training. I am getting a lot of experience, I've been fighting good fighters for a long time, I've studied them and learned about their training camps.
"I've learned how to condition my body for specific fights. I'm looking trim for this fight.
"I'm fighting a guy who is a 12-round fighter. So it would be silly of me to go in there bulky with my muscles screaming for oxygen.
"I've been training like a 15-round fighter in this camp. I will be well-conditioned to fight. That is key.
"What happens when I train that way? My body adapts and takes its natural form. This is the form it has taken."
AJ is relishing his Tottenham tussle with his fellow London 2012 Olympian, saying: “The date is set and we are fully locked in.
"September 25, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, I put it all on the line again and it’s time to defend my crown.
“We are two Olympic gold medallists who have fought our way to the top and never avoided challenges.
"The stadium is exceptional, the atmosphere will be electric, I’m honoured to be the first person to fight in such an awe-inspiring venue."
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