Joshua vs Usyk: Which heavyweight wins battle of Olympic champions?
With a 24-1 record, Anthony Joshua is looking to defend his heavyweight titles, this time against the undefeated Oleksandr Usyk.
A win would bring him one step closer to fighting Tyson Fury or Deontray Wilder and attempting to become the world’s undisputed heavyweight champion.
At the height of 6’6 and with a wingspan of 82 inches, Joshua has a significant length advantage against the 6’3 Usyk, who reaches 72 inches.
The heavyweight champion may utilize his length to keep his distance and sting the jab, as he has done with shorter opponents in the past.
Joshua, with 22 Knockouts, has proven to be a KO artist, especially if he catches his opponent clean with his signature right hook.
As soon as he smells blood in the water, he can start loading up on power combinations and pressure you to the corners.
Joshua used to go for the KO early but lately has been wearing down his opponents and been a lot more strategic with his approach.
AJ posted some pictures of him on social media recently, in which he seems to be lean, conditioned and in great shape going into this fight against a smaller Usyk.
Many fans expect to see Joshua KO his opponent, but the champ claims to be ready to go the distance if needed to.
Joshua’s only loss was against Andy Ruiz Jr., who is shorter and in significantly worse shape than Joshua. However, Ruiz has deceivingly good coordination and hand speed. He was able to land big counter shots and take Joshua into deep waters.
The champ went from knocking down his opponent to getting knocked down due to a counter hook that wobbled him.
Joshua had initially hurt Ruiz but started swinging punches recklessly and disregarded Ruiz’s chin power. One counter hook from Ruiz was enough to get Joshua to lose his momentum.
The heavyweight champion was dazed for the rest of the fight, and his legs were looking heavy. That being said, Joshua doesn’t seem to have the toughest chin in the heavyweight division and can be in trouble if he’s not careful he can get caught with a counter punch while swinging combinations.
AJ was able to bounce back and regain his title in a rematch against Ruiz, but at this point, he has clearly shown some weaknesses to his fighting style.
Oleksandr Usyk is going into this fight as a heavy underdog with odds at 2.92, as we searched through established and new bookmakers, but he’s not the type of fighter you can overlook.
The 34-year-old Ukrainian beast has an undefeated record of 18-0 with 13 wins by KO. It is about time that Usyk jumps into a heavyweight championship matchup and puts his skills to the test. Many people don’t know that Usyk is an olympian who won gold in London in 2012.
Another interesting fact about “The Cat” is that he shares the same birthday as his idol Muhammed Ali (January 17).
Usyk is a southpaw fighter, which can be a challenge for AJ, who uses an orthodox stance and has not fought a southpaw fighter in a while.
Usyk has been a WBO cruiserweight champion in the past, but this weight class was unified with the heavyweight class soon after.
Many fans claim that the weight difference, combined with his power and hand speed, will give Joshua the most edge going into this fight.
One thing for sure is that Usyk is very technical; he won’t go down easy and is willing to make this a very violent battle.