Lawrence Okolie believes that Anthony Joshua should look to use his size and strength advantages in his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk.
A reticent Joshua was well beaten by a composed Usyk, who now holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts after his September victory.
Joshua exercised a rematch clause and the second fight is expected to take place in 2022. The Briton is now regarded as the underdog, and Okolie believes that Joshua should look at Tyson Fury’s recent win over Deontay Wilder for inspiration.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, he said: "He was in there with a world class fighter, a generational talent. It’s not just a case of you doing this and that happens. There’s another person in there trying to prevent that and knock you out. There’s stuff AJ can do to try and change the way the fight looks and feels, and I think he will.
“But in terms of his performance, he tried his best and it wasn’t good enough on the day. You have to just say Usyk was great that night and AJ has to work on certain things to beat that style.”
Okolie continued, saying that Fury’s advantage over Wilder gave him the edge, and Joshua has the chance to do something like that.
"As you saw with Fury and Wilder, Wilder is an exceptional fighter, an exceptional puncher,” h explained.
“But Fury decided, you know what, I’m 277-pounds and I’m going to let you know it. He pushed him back, he rallied through the hard rounds, ground him down and got the stoppage. I believe AJ can do something similar.
"Of course AJ is a talented boxer, but Usyk is an extremely talented boxer. Nine out of 10 heavyweights aren’t going to try and box Usyk, they’re going to go in there and say 'I am a natural heavyweight, let me show you.' I believe AJ does that, and alongside the boxing skills he has, he’ll get it done. He relied a bit too much on his boxing ability, where sometimes you have to remember it’s a contact sport, so go in there and make contact."