Anthony Joshua will need all the help he can get to overcome the toughest challenge of his career to date in a rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
To that end, he assembled a meticulously chosen team of eight sparring partners, including three new additions from his preparations for his first fight with Usyk.
Winner of the 2022 Haringey Box Cup, Adegbola is a hugely promising amateur boxer, fighting at the highly regarded Repton boxing club in east London.
He graduated in Computer Science from Osun State University in Nigeria and last year made headlines for knocking out an opponent in 15 seconds.
The 18-year-old British Tri-Nations champion is another new face in Joshua’s camp and he’s a tricky southpaw with quick feet, perfect for emulating Usyk’s style.
Smakici is the most experienced of the new additions to Joshua’s side and the only professional, with a 19-1 record.
The 32-year-old Croatian is also a southpaw, standing 6ft 6in tall and he holds considerable power with 17 knockouts in 20 fights so far.
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Another Croatia southpaw, Milun returns from Joshua’s last camp before his previous fight with Usyk and he also happens to be a regular sparring partner for Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic.
The 6-foot-3, 25-year-old is a capable amateur, having previously won bronze medals at the European Games and EU Championship.
Latypov is a 31-year-old experienced amateur, who competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but he didn’t win a medal and he has only one professional fight under his belt since 2015, which he won. by KO.
McKean has the best professional record of any of Joshua’s sparring partners as he is undefeated in 21 fights so far, with 13 knockouts.
He also faced an old Joshua foe in Dillian Whyte and he recently called out Filip Hrgovic and Joseph Parker, so maybe we could see him in a ring with AJ in a more competitive setting at some point in the future.
Carty, otherwise known as ‘The Bomber’, is the number one ranked heavyweight in Ireland, despite only having three professional fights to his name, having won all three.
The Irish southpaw is signed to Dillian Whyte’s management company and his latest outing came in an incredible contest between Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan.
Afghan-born Parwani fled to Germany as a young boy with his family after his father was wounded by Taliban gunfire and he has since left Germany.
The 6ft 4in cruiserweight has built an impressive record of 17-1, with 13 knockouts and again he is a southpaw as is a common theme among Joshua’s sparring partners to groom him for the style elusive of Usyk.
Usyk vs. Joshua 2 on talkSPORT