The manager of British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, Eddie Hearn, announced the date of his client’s fight. The fight will take place in September and both fighters will be fighting for three different boxing titles: WBA Super, IBF and WBO. The meeting is very likely to take place in London.
The 31-year-old Brit was one step away from signing a contract to fight Tyson Fury. The English megafight was scheduled for August of this year, but was derailed due to Deontay Wilder’s claims. The former world champion from the United States secured a rematch with Fury through legal action. The management of the World Boxing Organization immediately reacted to this fact, forcing Joshua to start negotiating with Usyk. Alexander has long been a mandatory challenger for Anthony, and it’s time for “AJ” to close this issue.
The 2012 Olympic champion has been competing professionally since 2013. Joshua has had 25 fights and has 24 wins. For a long time Anthony kept a clean record, but in 2019 he unexpectedly lost by knockout to Andy Ruiz Jr. In the rematch, the Briton easily dealt with the Mexican and regained all his titles.
For the title of the absolute world champion “AJ” is missing only one belt, which is currently held by Fury. Nevertheless, even without the WBC title, Joshua is the leader of the weight class. The 31-year-old boxer’s list of beaten opposition includes names such as: Wladimir Klitschko, Dillian Whyte, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker, Carlos Takam, Kubrat Pulev, Dominic Brizile.
The champion is 198 cm tall and his arm span is 208 cm. At one point in his career, Joshua got a little too swingy and weighed in around 115-116 pounds. But now Anthony emphasizes lightness of movement and long-distance boxing. In his last fight he was only 109 kg. But at the same time the Brit kept his punching power. On the account of “AJ” 22 knockouts, which is 88% of the total number of fights.
The 34-year-old Ukrainian has been dreaming about this fight for years. Finally Usyk managed to get the fight with Joshua. This confrontation is the most important for Oleksandr in his professional career, and it is possible that Anatoly Lomachenko will take over his preparation. The Simferopol native has only two fights in the heavyweight division. In October of 2019 Usyk took out Chazz Witherspoon, and a year later passed Derek Chisora on points. So far in the new division, Alexander looks a bit heavy.
The Ukrainian boxer had a total of 18 professional fights and won all of them. Usyk was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world (up to 90.7 kg) and won the World Boxing Super Series tournament there. Alexander defeated Murat Gassiev, Mairis Briedis, Marko Huk, Krzysztof Glowacki, Michael Hunter, Tabiso Mchuna. In 13 cases, the 34-year-old heavyweight managed to defeat his opponents.
Usyk is 191 cm tall and his arms span is 198 cm. The Ukrainian weighs a little over a hundred and against the background of Joshua looks small. Also, Alexander doesn’t have the power to knock out natural heavyweights. But at the same time, in terms of hand and footwork, the former world champion is much more interesting than the Briton. I consider another factor of possible success of the 34-years-old boxer from Kiev to be his endurance. In spite of his new division Usyk is a very good fighter in terms of stamina. In his last fight he managed to beat big puncher Chisora.
Andy Ruiz’s ex-trainer commented on Usyk’s chances against Joshua
Manny Robles, former trainer of world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz, believes that mandatory WBO belt challenger Alexander Usyk will have chances against WBA/WBO/IBF titleholder Anthony Joshua.
“Absolutely, Usyk has a chance in a fight with Joshua. There are no easy fights at this level. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. Usyk is an incredible boxer, Olympic gold medalist and left-handed. He’s agile and fast. I don’t think Usyk is as physically strong as Joshua, because Anthony is the bigger guy in this pairing, but it will be a great fight. I’ll be watching it for sure,” Manny Robles said in an interview with YouTube channel Pep Talk UK.
We can’t predict who will win the Joshua vs Usyk fight
This person thinks Usyk is a better boxer than on paper. It might be smarter not to bet because of Alexander. The Ukrainian has not been successful as a heavyweight boxer yet. Maybe he doesn’t do enough boxing or maybe he’s not in good form anymore.
Besides, Usyk is not a natural heavyweight. He might have trouble with the British jab because he has a 10 cm advantage in height and knows how to use it when he fights. If the champion does not get tired like before, then he will win.