By: Hans Themistode
The heavily built frame of Anthony Joshua has served the unified heavyweight titlist justice in the ring. While the division has plenty of enormous fighters, Joshua appears to be massive in comparison.
The hulking muscles and gigantic biceps have ultimately led to Joshua scoring devastating knockouts. In his most recent trip to the ring against Kubrat Pulev, Joshua tipped the scale at 240.8 pounds. The extra girth that Joshua brought with him on the night, proved to be too much as Pulev hit the deck a total of three times before he was eventually stopped in the ninth round.
In comparison, Joshua’s upcoming opponent, Oleksandr Usyk, is known for entering the ring considerably lighter than his opposition. The former undisputed cruiserweight world champion recently forfeited roughly 40 pounds in weight in his heavyweight showdown against Dereck Chisora.
With two fights under his belt in his new weight class, Usyk has come in no heavier than 217 pounds. Seemingly, in an effort to nullify the boxing ability of the Ukrainian, Joshua has been spotted sporting a considerably slimmer physique. While the 31-year-old is hoping that his new body composition will aid him on the night, Usyk’s manager, Alexander Krassyuk, is steadfast in his belief that Joshua’s new weight loss will ultimately lead to his downfall.
“We accept AJ [Anthony Joshua] shedding weight as good news,” said Krassyuk during an interview with Mybettingsites.com. “Formerly a lot of experts gave his weight as an advantage. Now AJ is reducing his advantage.”
Krassyuk’s confidence in Usyk derives from watching the Ukrainian star dominate his competition regardless of supposed weight disadvantages. After outboxing everyone who was placed in front of him in the cruiserweight division, Usyk opted to chase even more gold one-weight division higher.
Despite his skills, the pound-for-pound stars transition to facing larger men hasn’t been a seamless one. In his first appearance in the land of the big men against Chazz Witherspoon in October of 2019, Usyk struggled at times with the 35-pound weight advantage of his man. Although it took him several rounds to adjust, Usyk eventually found the fight-ending shot in the seventh round.
As previously mentioned, Usyk once again stepped into the ring at a major weight disadvantage against fringe contender Dereck Chisora. While most were expecting the former Olympic gold medalist to easily nullify the extra pounds of the British native, Usyk had his difficulties throughout.
Regardless of the puzzle placed in front of him, Usyk would eventually eke out a close unanimous decision victory. With the Ukrainian relying heavily on his boxing ability and paired with the sudden weight loss of Joshua, Krassyuk has revealed that the self-belief of his star pugilist is through the roof.
“Usyk is very confident in his victory over AJ.”
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