By: Hans Themistode
Plenty are split down the middle in terms of how they view the heavyweight clash between unified champion Anthony Joshua and former undisputed cruiserweight king, Oleksandr Usyk.
With Usyk’s ability to outbox and outthink his opponents, rather than outmuscle them, there is a belief that no matter how big Joshua’s hulking muscles are, he’ll have a difficult time landing something significant.
Even as Joshua is currently the betting favorite, an easy night at the office isn’t widely expected. That is, unless you ask former heavyweight and cruiserweight champion, David Haye.
“Not much,” said Haye when asked how much trouble Usyk can give Joshua on September 25th during an interview with IFL TV. “I think if Anthony Joshua decides to have a tit for tat boxing match like just jabbing and trying to score points, then he’d have some trouble but he’s not stupid enough to do that.”
Joshua, 31, has seldom attempted to win his contests on the judge’s scorecards. Having wiped out 22 of his 25 career opponents before the final bell has rung, the British native has a propensity to leave nothing to chance.
In his most recent ring appearance, Joshua placed more of his killer mindset on display. In December of 2020, the British native took on then mandatory challenger, Kubrat Pulev. Despite claiming that Joshua’s title reign was going to end in brutal fashion, it was Pulev who was on the wrong end of a one-sided beating. The Bulgarian would hit the mat a total of three times before being stopped in the ninth round.
While Joshua impressed a populous crowd at Wembley Arena, Usyk, 34, was unafraid of what lies ahead.
After picking up every world title in the cruiserweight division, Usyk’s time as a heavyweight hasn’t been as successful.
Having watched Usyk struggle with much bigger and stronger opponents in Chazz Witherspoon and more recently, Dereck Chisora, Haye isn’t only convinced that Joshua is going to pick him apart but he also envisions exactly how it’ll happen.
“He’s going to use his beautiful jab, his height and reach advantage, size, and weight advantage, and his punch power advantage. He’s just better all around. It’s going to be pretty devastating.”
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