Richard Torrez: Anthony Joshua needs to fight me to prepare for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk

Richard Torrez: Anthony Joshua needs to fight me to prepare for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk

Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez believes Anthony Joshua should use him as a sparring partner as he prepares for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.

“I was hoping Anthony Joshua would contact me to spar since I have a Usyk-like style. What occurs happens, and I haven’t received that call “He explained.

Torrez, an American heavyweight prospect, has stated that his compact, high-intensity southpaw style would be great preparation for Usyk’s rematch.

“If any of the big heavyweights want to spar me or want to get a look, I am more than willing and more than obliged to go and do so.”

“Usyk’s movement, his lateral movement, his feints, everything like that, it’s unparalleled right now,” Torrez said.

There aren’t many fast southpaw heavyweights who match Usyk’s dimensions, but Torrez is one of them. “We’re few and far between,” said the American, as he acknowledged the scale of the task facing Joshua.

“I think the shot that Anthony Joshua has is letting his punches go. He really has to let those punches go and he has the shots, he has the power. Anthony Joshua will always have that power. If he lands, it’ll hurt and I think by following through with his punches and having more combinations, I think it’ll be an interesting fight. Honestly right now I am leaning towards Usyk.”

Usyk moved up from cruiserweight, where he was the undisputed champion, to beat Joshua and win the unified IBF, WBA and WBO titles. For Torrez that proved that smaller heavyweights can still reach the summit of the division.

“I’m here to show that same thing. Everyone always talks about how I’m a smaller heavyweight, everyone talks about why didn’t I go to cruiserweight. I mean Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson, all the greats, all the legends, they’re about my size,” Torrez said. “I think people see one huge guy and say that’s heavyweights now. That’s all heavyweights can be, that’s all heavyweights will ever be now, is a 6ft 10, 300lb guy. It’s like hold on, I’m still here. I’m still going to make a scene and I’m thankful for Usyk for showing that and I can’t wait to put the nail in the coffin.”

Torrez resisted any pressure to move down in weight. “I’m an Olympic silver medallist,” he said. “If I’m able to have this much success as a super-heavyweight, as a heavyweight, I’m going to stay there. “And everyone wants to be the heavyweight champion of the world.”

Torrez secured that Olympic silver medal after a super-heavyweight final in which he had to face his psychological demons as well as the towering Bakhodir Jalolov. The formidable Uzbek is a 6ft 7ins power-puncher with all round boxing skills who was the clear favourite in Tokyo and already the World championship gold medallist. Torrez had boxed him three years before and suffered a crushing knockout defeat, footage of which had gone viral across social media.

“I’ve been at the lowest point of boxing and I’m still here. I was able to come back and I was able to make something of myself and I was able to show that I am meant to be in the heavyweight division. “So if people aren’t afraid of me, they should be. Because I’ve been to the lowest and I’m back and I’m here to stay. I want everyone to know that you can come back from the downfalls and you can come back from the failures. Everyone always says it’s not about if you get knocked out, it’s about getting back up. Sometimes you don’t get back up. And I’m still here and I’m back and I’m here to stay.”

“I’ve been to the lowest part of boxing. I’ve been on a viral video of me getting knocked out. I got knockout of the year and I was the one getting knocked out,” Torrez continued. The young American showed courage in the Olympic final, taking the fight to Jalolov, making use of his own power and skill as he lost a points decision in what was nevertheless a creditable effort. “I was never there to take second. I was never there to not win the entire thing,” he said. “I came this close. That is honestly why I’m still so driven.”

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