Oleksandr Usyk first encountered Anthony Joshua as an amateur 10 years ago. Neither man has yet won the Olympic gold medal in London, with little indication that their path will converge on the ring.
Even the Ukrainians could not have imagined that this fight would happen soon when they formally “called” Joshua after beating Derek Chisora on his cheek with his tongue.
Later the collapse of the unification match with Tyson Fury, and Usyk has a chance to make a much larger statement in the heavyweight division. In fact, it was just a warm-up that silenced some, if not all, skeptics because Chisora couldn’t stop the British. (In boxing, few people are convinced.)
Joshua, on the other hand, has the potential for belts, cards, and even greater rewards. He has arguably the most talented technical fighter of his career, despite his great advantage in height and reach. Usyk tests his footwork and movement in a way that his compatriot, and Joshua’s most formidable opponent, Vladimir Klitschko, couldn’t.
Usyk in numbers
- Year: 34
- height: 6 feet 3 inches
- arrival: 78 inches
- Total Professional Battle: 18
- record: 18-0 (13 KO)
Criticos is significantly absent from Team Usyk camp, despite usually having a close alliance, but has a much more important Ukrainian connection. 34-year-old Vasiliy Lomachenko’s father, Anatoly, helped him with his Olympic gold medal and connected as his trainer in his corner for the 2018 victory over Murat Gassiev.
However, in the last 18 battles, Usyk has never encountered a show of this size. Abdication of Joshua is almost certainly in line with his achievements at the cruiserweight division.
In the process of unifying the division, he secured nine knockouts from the first ten professional fights. Equally impressive were some of his games at a distance: Krzysztof Glowacki received real punishment from his combo, and he wasn’t really shining until a later round against Michael Hunter. But he completely outboxed him at a later stage.
Tony Bellew, who retired after losing three years ago, considers him “the greatest cruiserweight ever” and he’s not the only one to make that decision, but Evander Holyfield has something to say about it. maybe.
Liverpudlian revealed one obvious weakness and broke Usyk’s defense with a series of effective counter punches in the early rounds. But in the end, he was overwhelmed and fought. Joshua can’t afford it to happen to him either.
Joshua doesn’t have to win a particularly compelling victory for his next Fury shot (assuming the self-proclaimed “Gipsy Kings” avoids losing to Deontay Wilder at the October trilogy meeting. To do).
Joshua vs. Fury is the real fight the boxing world wants to see, but Fury has signed a legally binding agreement promising a third fight, while the rest of the division is waiting.
According to experts Usyk
Michael hunter, Sky sports: “He has a defensive mind on the feet of the fleet. In a way it will be very difficult to actually beat Usyk. Joshua needs to make a concrete game plan and follow it.”
Tyson Fury, ESPN: “Oleksandr Usyk [is the biggest heavyweight challenge after Wilder]..He is an awkward man, southpaw, unified [cruiserweight] World champion, undefeated world champion. ”
Tony Bellew, BBC: “Heavy weights go away and he takes great shots. I don’t even know if I hurt him.”
Usyk’s manager, Sergey Lapin, MyBettingSites: “We, his team and loved ones, believe in his victory for two reasons. One has one of the best techniques in boxing, so two have him maximizing his legs. It’s very difficult to face because it’s used for a limited time. ”
These complications should not take anything away from Usyk’s mandatory title shots. Joshua knows he will be tested by a southpaw and brings in a sparring partner who can emulate Saturday’s opponent’s stance and prepare him properly.
The World Champion is also tested with his patience as much as his strength. Usyk’s victory in points against Chisora was a classic bait exercise, suddenly unleashing punch momentum in the seventh round, with the British heavyweight stumbling on the rope and then dodging Delboy’s biggest swing.
Temporarily, Usyk grew even larger to expel those protracted concerns about his size. Meanwhile, Joshua reduced. History suggests that Usyk still struggles to meet him along the way, but that makes Friday’s weight a much bigger issue.
- date: Friday, September 24
- time: From 12:00 pm
- venue: 02 Arena