Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk might not be the fight we were expecting to see, but it could prove to be the best fight in years.
We sent BetVictor Brand Ambassador Harry Redknapp to meet Boxing legend Johnny Nelson. They discussed all the aspects in play when AJ meets Usyk.
Size v Speed
One of the key talking points regarding this fight is the differences between the two boxers main strengths.
Whilst Anthony Joshua has been called a ‘bodybuilder’ by rival Tyson Fury, questions have been raised about Oleksandr Usyk’s size.
The Ukrainian impressed as he tore through the cruiserweight division, winning all four belts along the way, with an explosive display of speed throughout all of his fights.
This will be his third fight in the heavyweight division. moving up from 200lbs to 200+lbs has been a hard step for many fighters to make in the past.
In his first bout in his new division he weighed 215lbs, en route to an easy stoppage win against Chazz Witherspoon. He then took on Derek Chisora with a more beefed up 217¼lbs, going on to win by unanimous decision. Against Joshua he is expected to weigh in at over 230lbs.
Southpaw v Orthodox
There is a reason that this is being labelled as AJ’s hardest fight since he truly made his name with that knockout victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.
The Ukrainian, in a similar fashion to Tyson Fury, is unpredictable in the ring. He can switch his fighting style at any time and as such, disrupts his opposition’s game plan.
Can Joshua find a way to deal with his challenger’s tactics? It could cause him a few sleepless nights but will also act as the perfect preparation for the proposed bout against Fury, if he can find a way to win against Usyk.
Underdog v Favourite
Joshua will defend his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles against Usyk this weekend. The defending champion suffered a shock defeat against Andy Ruiz a few years ago, so he knows what is on the line.
Whilst Oleksandr Usyk’s boxing credentials are not in question given his rise through the cruiserweight division, this will be just his third fight at heavyweight.
With many calling him Anthony Joshua’s biggest challenge since he faced Klitschko back in 2017, a lot depends on the outcome of this fight.
Another defeat and any hopes of a unification super fight against Tyson Fury fade, so the pressure is on.