Joshua vs Usyk: Who wins?
Saturday September 25 sees Anthony Joshua defending his world heavyweight titles. It had been hoped his opponent would be WBC champion Tyson Fury. He’s fighting Deontay Wilder (again) so instead former cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk receives the chance to become heavyweight champion.
It’s not what Joshua wants as his dream is to hold all four world heavyweight titles. The mere fact there are four is ridiculous but that’s a subject for another article. Joshua has to dispose of Usyk and then hopefully he’ll take on either Fury or Wilder in late 2021 or next year.
The British boxer has a professional record of 24 wins and a defeat (since avenged) by Andy Ruiz Jr. It’s five years since he first became a world heavyweight champion, when beating Charles Martin, just two years after turning professional.
His last title defence was in December of last year, beating Kubrat Pulev in nine rounds. Now he returns to the ring and it’s a fight he cannot afford to lose. If that happens, then he will get a return fight with Usyk but that fight for all the belts will be further delayed.
It’s a fight that is intriguing many a boxing fan according to this betting site as the contrasting styles makes this truly difficult to predict a winner, whilst also being of the most interesting matchups over the year. Joshua has been working hard in training to get ready for the challenge Usyk presents. He knows that his opponent doesn’t possess the kind of knock-out punch that someone like Fury or Wilder have.
Instead, he’s up against a talented boxer but one that is relatively untested at this weight. Joshua will hope to knock him out but may need to rely on his boxing ability more than his power.
Usyk is unbeaten in 16 pro fights and dominated the cruiserweight division Moving up to heavyweight is not an easy task but becoming champion is achievable. Evander Holyfield and David Haye both managed to go up in weight and win the heavyweight title.
The challenger has only had two fights in the heavyweight division. In 2019, he took on Chazz Witherspoon who had nothing in his record to suggest he could beat Usyk. Usyk won in seven rounds, but it wasn’t a world title winning performance.
Halloween 2020 saw Usyk back in the UK to take on Dereck Chisora. He won a points decision but a narrow one. Two judges gave it to Usyk by a couple of points, the other by a five-point margin. Again, Usyk showed that he hasn’t got the power to trouble the top heavyweights.
He is a classy boxer though and one that will avoid a lot of the punches Joshua throws. In return, he can possibly catch the eye of the judges with some clever but not knock-out powered punches.
If he can beat Joshua, then that puts him in the mix for a shot against Fury or Wilder. A loss will see him having to rebuild his career. That’s what is likely to happen with Joshua winning on points. Then the scene will be set for the match-up against Fury or Wilder.