Richard Torrez: Anthony Joshua must spare me to prepare for Oleksandr Usyk rematch | boxing news

Olympic silver medalist Richard Torrez insists Anthony Joshua needs to bring him in as a sparring partner to prepare for his second fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

American heavyweight prospect Torrez pointed out that his compact, high-intensity southpaw style would be ideal preparation for the rematch with Usyk.

“I was hoping Anthony Joshua would hit me for practice because I kind of have a Usyk style. How it goes, that’s how it goes, I don’t have that call,” did he declare. sky sports.

“If any of the big heavyweights want to spare me or take a look, I’m more than willing and more than obligated to go.”

Torrez’s experiences as an amateur conditioned him for professional sports. (Photo: AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

There aren’t many fast southpaw heavyweights that match Usyk’s dimensions, but Torrez is one of them. “We are few,” said the American, acknowledging the magnitude of the task Joshua faced.

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

“I think Anthony Joshua’s shot lets his shots through. He really has to let those shots through and he’s got the shots, he’s got the power. Anthony Joshua will always have that power. If he lands it will hurt and I think by continuing his punches and having more combinations, I think it will be an interesting fight. Honestly, right now, I’m leaning towards Usyk.

Usyk rose from cruiserweight, where he was the undisputed champion, to beat Joshua and win the unified IBF, WBA and WBO titles. For Torrez, it proved that little heavyweights can still reach the top of the division.

TEMECULA, CALIFORNIA – JULY 14: Richard Torrez Jr (L) and Roberto Zavala Jr (R) pose during the weigh-in before their heavyweight bout on July 14, 2022 in Temecula, California.  (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Torrez weighed in at 224 pounds (16 stone) for his recent return to action

“I’m here to show the same. Everybody always talks about how I’m a little heavyweight, everybody talks about why I didn’t 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 a huge guy and say that’s heavyweight now. That’s all heavyweight can be, that’s all heavyweight will ever be now, that’s a 6-foot-10, 300-pound guy is going to make a scene again and I’m grateful to Usyk for showing it and can’t wait to put the nail in the coffin.”

Torrez resisted any pressure to drop weight. “I’m an Olympic silver medalist,” he said. “If I’m able to have that 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.”

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Oleksandr Usyk demonstrated that a smaller heavyweight can still defeat the best in the division

Torrez got that Olympic silver medal after a super heavyweight final in which he had to face his psychological demons as well as the imposing Bakhodir Jalolov.

The formidable Uzbek is a 6ft 7in powerful puncher with full boxing skills who was the undisputed favorite in Tokyo and already the gold medalist at the world championships. Torrez had boxed him three years prior and suffered a crushing defeat, footage of which had gone viral on social media.

The young American showed courage in the Olympic final, battling against Jalolov, using his own power and skill as he lost a points decision in what was nonetheless a commendable effort. “I was never there to take second place. I was never there to not win everything,” he said. “I’ve come so close. That’s honestly why I’m still so motivated.”

“I’ve been on the lowest end of boxing. I’ve been on a viral video of me getting knocked out. I’ve been knockout of the year and I’ve been the one who got knocked out. knocked out,” Torrez continued.

Richard Torrez faces Bakhodir Jalolov in the Olympic final.  (Photo: Adam Davy/PA Archives/PA Pictures)
Richard Torrez faces Bakhodir Jalolov in the Olympic final. (Photo: Adam Davy/PA Archives/PA Pictures)

“I was at the bottom 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’m supposed to be in the weight division heavy.

“So if people aren’t scared of me, they should be. Because I’ve been down and I’m back and I’m here to stay. I want everyone to know that you You can come back from falls and you can come back from failures Everyone always says it’s not about getting 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.”

Torrez’s Olympic silver medal eventually saw him sign a professional contract with American promotional powerhouse Top Rank. He made his professional debut in March, earning a stoppage victory over Allen Melson in two incident-filled sets.

Richard Torrez Jr. of the United States, right, exchanges punches with Cuba's Dainier Pero during their men's super heavyweight boxing match over 91kg at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sunday 1 August 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Richard Torrez is no stranger to action, winning a thrilling Olympic quarter-final here against Cuba’s Dainier Pero. (Photo: AP Photo/Frank Franklin)

Returning from the Olympics which had been held behind closed doors due to pandemic restrictions, Torrez was stunned by the reception that greeted him for his first professional competition.

“When I finally walked into the ring and they said my name, I got insane applause and I couldn’t believe it. Especially coming from the Olympics where there was no one there and that was just calm, quiet To be able to have people there with posters of my name and all my friends and family there was amazing and I kind of underestimated all the nervousness of a pro,” he said.

“I was like, ‘Man, this is crazy, this is a totally different area’ and I got in the ring and realized it was the same thing, just shirtless. So I know what I do stepping in there now. I know the nature of the beast and I’m glad to show what I can do.

In that fight he heavily dropped Melson in the first round, the referee appeared to call off the contest, prompting the doctor to climb into the ring and Torrez to celebrate. The referee either changed his mind or realized his mistake and resumed the fight. Torrez dove back, only to pick up a bad cut on his forehead. He renewed his attack in the second round to ward off any danger and win by knockout.

Torrez knows he has the ability to tackle giant heavyweights.  (Photo: Adam Davy/PA Archives/PA Pictures)
Torrez knows he has the ability to tackle giant heavyweights. (Photo: Adam Davy/PA Archives/PA Pictures)

“It was a crazy fight,” Torrez said. “It was like a roller coaster. It really was, because all the tension was released from my body [when the referee seemingly waved it off]. You feel all that tension coming back [and think,] “Oh, it’s time for the fight again.”

“As crazy as it was, I’m glad I got this in my first pro fight because I feel like every other pro fight is going to be a little bit better than this.”

Torrez had his second pro contest Friday, July 15, a simple stoppage victory over Roberto Zavala Jr that took him just 58 seconds.

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Richard Torrez Jr wasted no time in stunning Roberto Zavala Jr to force a stoppage in the first round

He will be a quick miss again, returning for a third pro fight on August 27 in a six-round contest against Marco Antonio Canedo on the Jose Pedraza vs. Richard Commey undercard at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Torrez is more than an all-action puncher. He hopes his skills, tenacity, conditioning and underrated power will take him to the top of the division. He’s seen the attention his Top Rank teammate Jared Anderson is getting and wants to join him as one of America’s top heavyweight prospects.

Both had boxed before, as amateurs, and it was Torrez who won that encounter.

Jared Anderson
Torrez wants to rival Jared Anderson as a professional heavyweight

“We’ve been teammates since I think 2015 when we first went to the World Junior Championships in Russia. We’ve always had that competitiveness against each other,” he said of Anderson.

They boxed in 2017. “It was the National Golden Gloves, Jared, he was originally a 201lb and he went to 201+ just for the tournament and we fought. We had a really good fight , it was an amazing fight and I was able to get this win,” said Torrez.

“I think Jared is an amazing guy, I think he’s a really cool guy and I admire him as a boxer. Do I hope to see that fight one day? Yeah, definitely. That would be a amazing thing for boxing, for the United States in general having two American heavyweights go head to head. I can’t wait for that fight too.

“But at the moment, I’m very ok with congratulating and supporting him all the time and one day we will meet.

“To the guys that say Jared Anderson is the best, I mean I think Jared Anderson is an amazing heavyweight fighter, I’m just saying, please wait and watch me too. I’m here to do that too. a scene.”

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