Joshua must beat Usyk in 2022 rematch or forget Fury, Wilder big purse fights
• New champion wants rematch in Ukraine
Spencer Oliver insists Anthony Joshua has to beat Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch or face being frozen out by Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, writes talksport.com.
The Brit was completely nullified by the Ukrainian on Saturday night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and relinquished his WBA, WBO and IBF world titles.
Usyk was giving up three inches in height and four in reach, as well as nearly 20lbs in weight, but the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion’s technical acumen came to the fore in an electric atmosphere.
Joshua finished the bout slumped against the ropes as his smaller foe looked for a dramatic finish, thus becoming only the third fighter after Evander Holyfield and David Haye to win world titles at cruiserweight and heavyweight.
Joshua, who was obligated to face WBO mandatory challenger Usyk after a bout against Fury fell through earlier this year, admitted he could not see out of his right eye after the ninth round. And Spencer Oliver insists the Brit may have failed to appreciate just how good the pound-for-pound superstar was.
“I think it’s a bit harsh when people are calling Joshua a fraud,” Oliver said on Weekend Sports Breakfast.
“I think he maybe just underestimated Usyk on how good he actually was.”
With Fury and Wilder set to meet for a third time on October 9 with the WBC and Ring Magazine belts on the line, Joshua knows there could be a scenario whereby he is on the outside of the world title picture looking in.
If Fury were to triumph again, he has previously said he has no interest in fighting Usyk – but it could grant him the chance to become undisputed heavyweight champion.
Oliver added: “Joshua has lost all of his belts, so he is in a position where he needs to reclaim them, otherwise he is out of the mix.
“You’ve got October 9, Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder, they are fighting for the WBC belt and this was effectively a semi-final for the undisputed heavyweight world titles.
“So you had a scenario where the winners would go on and box for the undisputed – a fight that we have wanted to see now for a couple of years.
“It hasn’t happened and it’s been frustrating and now Joshua, after losing all his belts, finds himself in a position where he needs to win his next contest or else he is completely out of picture.”
Meanwhile, Usyk will agree a rematch with Joshua — but hopes it will be held in his native Ukraine.
Usyk overcame Joshua on Saturday night with a majority decision at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The judges gave scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 in his favour. It followed an absolute masterclass in front of 65,000 hostile fans inside the north London venue.
Joshua, who now has a professional record of 24-2, finished the fight slumped against the ropes and was lucky not to be knocked out by his opponent.
The Brit’s hopes of meeting domestic rival Tyson Fury in a showdown for all of the heavyweight world titles was also left in tatters by the result, which saw Usyk claim the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.
Joshua is, though, expected to invoke a clause giving him a rematch and Usyk was asked after the fight where he would want the return bout to take place.
“I would love to have the rematch at Olympiyskiy Stadium in Kiev,” he replied.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn dropped a heavy hint that the rematch would, however, take place in the United Kingdom.
“We will work together to maximise (the income), Ukraine is very unlikely,” said Hearn. “I think it will be international or the UK, I would think it would be in the UK.”