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Usyk stands between Joshua, Fury £200m double header

By Editor
23 September 2021   |   3:08 am
Anthony Joshua stands to make more than £200 million if he successfully defends his titles against Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.

Joshua will stake his world heavyweight titles in his bout with Oleksandr Usyk in London… on Saturday

Anthony Joshua stands to make more than £200 million if he successfully defends his titles against Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday.

Joshua and Usyk will do battle for three versions of the world heavyweight title when they meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night.

The 31-year-old Briton will make the second defence of his belts since reclaiming them against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia at the end of 2019.

But Joshua faces an extremely tough task as he comes up against the unbeaten Usyk, who is an Olympic gold medallist and former undisputed cruiserweight champion.

The Ukrainian has already beaten one British world champion in Tony Bellew, stopping him in the eighth round of their fightback in 2018. But Joshua will be confident his size and strength can overwhelm Usyk, who is widely regarded as a pound-for-pound star.

Joshua is expected to earn £15 million for the fight against Usyk, per the Mirror. That is significantly more than he earned against Kubrat Pulev nine months ago when he was forced to fight in front of just 1,000 fans due to Coronavirus restrictions.

This time he will step into the ring in front of 63,000 spectators inside the newly-built Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, the purse for this fight will still be a far cry from the £66m he took home after the Andy Ruiz Jr rematch in Saudi Arabia. A great deal of that purse was down to the site fee the Saudis put up to stage the event.

It is also considerably less than the £200m that he was expected to earn for a two-fight deal with WBC champion Tyson Fury.

Usyk is expected to earn around £3 million for the fight, a figure that could rise to as high as £5 million depending on how well the pay-per-view does on Sky Sports.

The Ukrainian made around $2.5 million for his last fight, which was also on PPV, against another Briton in Dereck Chisora.

Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte has predicted that Joshua will beat Usyk in the first seven rounds of their fight this weekend as long as he shows confidence from the get-go.

Joshua has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to triumph over the former cruiserweight champion in north London, and his fellow heavyweight Whyte believes that will come to fruition if he can press Usyk and set the pace of the fight.

“Joshua will stop him in the first five, six, or seven rounds. Usyk will start fast, and Joshua will be a bit cagey because he’s a southpaw, and he’s lighter,” Whyte told BBC 5 Live.

“Joshua also lacks confidence sometimes in fights where he can get caught up, ‘He’s a good boxer.’

“Hopefully, he goes back to his old self and starts pressing Usyk and being the bigger, stronger guy and starts backing him up and hitting him with stuff.”

“I think he can get the job done early. Usyk is a good southpaw, but he’s an aggressive southpaw as well.”

“He likes to press the fight, but Joshua has height and reach, and power. If Joshua wants to set the pace, he can get an early knockout. But if he wants to prove who’s the better boxer, I think he’ll struggle.”

Whyte beat Joshua in the amateurs in 2009, but it has been a different story since then.

Former world champions Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz are the only fighters that have lasted the full distance against Joshua, but his promoter Eddie Hearn has warned he is now set for his ‘toughest ever fight.’

“This is probably AJ’s toughest ever fight and I think he’s going to prove to the world how good he is. He’s ready for this fight but it’s the ultimate challenge with someone that’s very strong mentally.

“Mentally it will be draining (for Joshua) because he’s going to have to think a lot, there will be a lot of feints from both men and reactions are going to be key.”

Usyk is making the challenging transition from cruiserweight, in which division he was the undisputed world champion, to heavyweight.

The pair both won Olympic gold in their respective heavyweight and super heavyweight categories at London 2012, but now three world titles are on the line for the duo in the same category.