Otto Wallin Doubts Anthony Joshua Defeats Oleksandr Usyk In Rematch: “He Lacks Confidence”
By: Hans Themistode
Otto Wallin couldn’t believe what he was initially watching.
After pegging Anthony Joshua to be too big and too strong for former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, the highly ranked heavyweight contender was stunned when the two squared off on September 25th, 2021.
In front of a jam-packed crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Usyk easily outboxed his man. Despite having the height, weight, and reach advantages, and regardless of the hulking muscles, Usyk stood his ground and peppered Joshua with straight lefts over and over again.
At the conclusion of 12 hard-fought rounds, Usyk emerged victoriously as the division’s new unified champion. Unwilling to sit back and allow his championship reign to come to an end so abruptly, Joshua immediately enforced his mandatory rematch clause.
Although an official date hasn’t been set just yet, the two will square off once more this coming Summer. With the opportunity to redeem himself rapidly approaching, Joshua is confident in retaking what was once his. But while the former two-time heavyweight champion has a steely look of determination, Wallin believes Joshua is putting on a false facade.
“He might have the tools to beat him but he lacks the confidence,” said Wallin during an interview with Thaboxingvoice. “I think that if he can get some of the confidence back, be aggressive and brawl like Chisora did against Usyk, I think that would be the way to beat him.”
As Wallin eludes to, Usyk was given all he could handle during a 2020 showdown against Dereck Chisora. The rough and rugged fringe contender pushed the former Olympic gold medalist back on several occasions. In addition to his physicality, Chisora threw punches in bunches on the inside, making things uncomfortable for Usyk.
Although he would ultimately come up short, Wallin believes that Chisora laid out the blueprint to defeating Usyk. But, to Wallin’s dismay, Joshua refused to use his physical attributes. Instead, Joshua opted to box Usyk from the outside.
With part two looming, Joshua has revealed that he plans on bringing the fight to Usyk from the very beginning. Regardless of what appears to be newfound aggression, Wallin, who once fought Joshua in the amateurs, is reluctant to go against Usyk. Unless, of course, Joshua reveals a certain mean streak.
“It’s hard to go against Usyk after that first fight. Usyk really had his number. Joshua is going to have to come up with something special.”
Tyson Fury Hedges On Retirement Vow During Sedate Press Conference With Dillian Whyte
by John “Gutterdandy” Walker
The strange atmosphere surrounding the upcoming title fight between undefeated WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and challenger Dillian Whyte, both of the UK, got even stranger when the two fighters appeared, though not together, at a press conference Thurdsay afternoon (April 14).
Fury has previously announced that this second defense of his WBC Heavyweight Title will be his final fight, that he is mentally finished with boxing, and after fighting Whyte will be ready to lead a life of decadent luxury as a very rich man.
Yet during the lead-up to his previous fight, Fury’s first defense of his WBC strap against American puncher and former champ Deontay Wilder, Fury was keen to tell the world that he is a “fighting man” who only truly feels at home in the ring. He indicated then that he would be fighting well into the future. That there was nothing else that he truly cared about outside of boxing and his family.
However, after defeating Wilder in a thrilling third meeting between the two men, Fury had a change of heart. After the list of five fights he desired in the future (a fourth fight with Wilder, and a third fight with gatekeeper Dereck Chisora among them) was met with derision–with current unified world heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk’s name conspicuously being left out–Fury’s attitude suddenly shifted. After facing mandatory challenger Dillian Whyte (who was knocked out cold on his feet by 40-year-old Alexander Povetkin of Russia a mere two fights back), Fury claimed he was out, done and dusted. Retiring.
So he said, anyway, though it’s probably true that few people in the boxing game took him very seriously.
Today’s press conference was a surprisingly dull affair, with the normally excitable and voluble Whyte, who has been silent and invisible during the fight’s lead-up, and the always talkative Fury making separate appearances via Zoom. Both boxers tended to stick to rote answers about having great training camps and being excited for their upcoming fight in the UK on April 23. With Fury and Whyte not sharing any air time, neither man could really get too worked up, and the questions asked by selected boxing journalists often left much to be desired.
For instance, the journalists picked to ask questions were careful to avoid the explosive topic of reputed Irish mob boss Daniel Kinahan, to whom Tyson Fury has been linked in recent reports in the mainstream press. Only one of the selected journalists brought up the topic of Fury’s impending retirement from boxing, and the question seemed to throw the WBC champ for a bit of a loop. Fury hemmed and hawed and ducked, quickly changing the topic to how well prepared he is for Whyte, and not mentioning retirement again.
“I’m only thinking about Dillian Whyte at this moment, I’m not thinking about retirement,” said Fury, blatantly contradicting earlier statements that this fight is it. “After the fight we’ll think about what is gonna happen and what the future holds for me.”
Another very interesting change of tune from Fury, who as recently as March 1 of this year proclaimed, “I’m retiring after this fight…I have no ambition after this fight, I’m done. No interest in anybody, retirement, baby! $100 million in the bank, undefeated champion.”
Fury said after Whyte, his life would resemble a movie star’s, no longer a fighting man, but a jet setter enjoying ““Miami, boats, Ferraris, Lambos.”
Today, however, he suddenly sounded unsure. Perhaps the winner of the upcoming rematch between Usyk and Anthony Joshua, who Fury had planned a mega-fight against before Usyk upset A.J., will help determine the fighter’s future. The WBC champ has so far shown very little interest in taking on the undefeated Ukrainian cruiser and heavyweight boxing master, who recently fought for his country against Russian invaders, and is now in Poland training for his contracted meeting with Joshua.
In a move that might impress Tom Brady, is Tyson Fury already un-retiring before he even officially retires?
Eddy Reynoso Reveals What Anthony Joshua Should Work On
By: Hans Themistode
Like most, Eddy Reynoso has marveled at the physical specimen that is Anthony Joshua.
The former unified heavyweight champion stands at a towering 6’6” and possesses the sort of hulking 240 pound frame that resembles Greek Gods. Despite his impressive physique, however, Joshua has found himself on the losing end of his bouts over the past few years.
In 2019, the British native was floored four times before ultimately losing his heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jr. via seventh-round stoppage. Though Joshua would go on to defeat Ruiz Jr. in their immediate rematch and score a violent knockout victory over Kubrat Pulev in December of 2020, the now 32-year-old was handed a unanimous decision defeat in his lone ring appearance of 2021 against Oleksandr Usyk.
Reynoso, a former multiple-time trainer of the year and the leading man in the corner of pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez, believes Joshua is immensely talented. However, Reynoso can also see the holes in the former champions game.
“Work his distance more, better combinations,” said Reynoso as he listed what Joshua has to improve upon during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He has a lot of good traits, good physical traits but he doesn’t take advantage of them.”
Joshua, a former 2012 Olympic gold medalist, believed that with a win over his then mandatory challenger, the next step for him would be an undisputed showdown against current WBC champion, Tyson Fury.
Although Joshua still dreams of becoming an undisputed titlist, he’ll first look to regain his championship status. Immediately following his defeat, Joshua boarded the first flight to the states and began exploring various boxing gyms while speaking to numerous trainers. Amongst them, was Reynoso.
Presently, the highly touted trainer has a deep stable of fighters including Alvarez, Ruiz Jr., Frank Sanchez, Ryan Garcia, and Oscar Valdez.
Admittedly, Reynoso reveals that he would be more than willing to take Joshua under his wing and prepare him for his rematch with Usyk. Although their new partnership isn’t solidified as of yet, Reynoso appears more than willing to lend Joshua a helping hand.
“I would love to work with Joshua, why not? My job is to train fighters and I will see if I can make it work. It’s a question of the timing of the next fight. We talked with Eddie Hearn and Joshua’s management and we will see what happens.”
Anthony Joshua: “I Belong On The Big Stage, You’ll See Why”
By: Hans Themistode
At one point, Anthony Joshua’s name stood prominently at the top of the heavyweight mountain.
Even following his shocking defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, Joshua believed he was still the best fighter in the world and would go on to prove that Ruiz Jr.’s victory over him was more or less a fluke. However, with Joshua tasting defeat for the second time in his career, this one feels different.
Despite Oleksandr Usyk giving up size, reach, and weight against Joshua, the former undisputed cruiserweight champion confidently marched into the hometown of Joshua and proceeded to strip the well-built heavyweight of his championship status. With the second loss of his career now smeared onto his record, Joshua is simply chalking up his latest defeat to his ambitious nature.
“If I didn’t fight the best, I may not have loss,” said Joshua during a recent interview with Sky Sports Boxing.
During their heavyweight showdown, Joshua smiled as he made his way to the ring. His British fans roared in the background at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But, to their bemusement, Joshua attempted to box whom many consider to be on a shortlist of the greatest pure boxers in the world today, as opposed to using his physical attributes.
The end result is one that Joshua is now attempting to rebound from. Following his unlikely defeat, the former heavyweight titlist immediately actived his immediate rematch clause. The two are now locked in intense negotiations with promoter Eddie Hearn revealing that a showdown between the pair should come to fruition in the first half of 2022.
While Joshua now finds his name firmly behind the likes of Usyk, and WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury, the British star is anxious to prove that any discussions surrounding his demise are greatly exaggerated.
“I belong on the big stage, I belong as a champion, I belong amongst the names of this current generation. You’ll see why.”
Floyd Mayweather Doesn’t View Anthony Joshua’s Loss To Oleksandr Usyk As An Upset
By: Hans Themistode
The 2021 boxing calendar has been filled with upsets. Amongst a long list of them, was the mostly unforeseen result between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. Although the Ukrainian star had dominated the cruiserweight division, nabbing every world title en route to becoming an undisputed world champion, his performances as a heavyweight left much to be desired.
Following a lackluster knockout win against Chazz Witherspoon and a close decision victory over fringe contender Dereck Chisora, Usyk found himself as a considerable underdog against the former unified titlist. Yet, despite the hulking muscles and his propensity for knockouts, Joshua struggled mightily. While Joshua had his moments, he was thoroughly outboxed as he proceeded to lose his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles.
Although Usyk has been lauded for what many are considering to be the upset of the year, Floyd Mayweather becomes incredulous whenever that notion is brought about.
“That was not an upset,” said Mayweather to several reporters. “It was just that, Anthony Joshua was on TV. Everybody seen him. Usyk was a helluva fighter, a gold medalist if I’m not mistaken. But he was behind the scenes. Two guys with crazy amateur backgrounds and one guy is not being seen and another guy is being seen, then we call it an upset. No, it’s just that he was working behind the scenes and another guy was working in front of everybody. Finally, they had to meet up and Anthony Joshua came up short.”
As illustrated by Mayweather, both Joshua and Usyk enjoyed sizable success in the unpaid ranks. In the case of Joshua, he wrapped up his amateur career with a record of 40-3. In the process, the British native took home an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 games. But, regardless of how impressive Joshua was before turning pro, Usyk’s achievements as an amateur dwarfs his rival.
In addition to winning countless amateur tournaments, Usyk snagged gold at the 2012 Olympics as well. By the time he hung up his amateur gloves, Usyk aggregated a record of 335-15. Although Mayweather believes the Ukrainian should’ve never been labeled as an underdog heading into his showdown against Joshua, the former unified titlist is hellbent on regaining his heavyweight throne.
Immediately following his defeat, Joshua exercised his rematch clause. The two are now entangled in intense negations. And, according to promoter Eddie Hearn, the pair are expected to lock horns in the first half of 2022.
For the past several months, Joshua has been spotted at numerous gyms as he appears to be in search of a new coach. If the former heavyweight champion has yet to make a final decision, Mayweather urges the British star to pick up the phone and give him a call.
“I told him from the beginning, he can come and I can teach him some pointers.”
Anthony Joshua: “F*ck Being Humble, I’m Done With F*cking Losing”
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Joshua has been both gracious in victory and humble in defeat.
Following the first loss of his career to Andy Ruiz Jr. in June of 2019, Joshua placed his arms around his Mexican rival and allowed him to receive his well-earned spotlight. Joshua would continue to heap praise onto the shoulders of Ruiz Jr. but inside, he was angry. Six months later, Joshua scored a one-sided victory against Ruiz Jr. to reclaim his world titles.
In what appeared to be deja vu, Joshua once again took his defeat well. The former Olympic gold medalist was thoroughly outboxed by Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th, earlier this year at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the United Kingdom.
Much like his first defeat, Joshua gave full credit to Usyk for pulling off the win. But while Joshua has seemingly taken his losses well, he’s reached his breaking point.
“F*ck being humble,” said Joshua during an interview with IFL TV. “I’m done with f*cking losing.”
In an effort to bring about more consistent winning at the top level, Joshua appears to be seeking help from some of the top trainers stateside. Amongst the more notable names, Joshua has visited the gym of Eddy Reynoso and has been seen joking and laughing with pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez. Joshua has also visited the gym of Ronnie Shields, where he was seen receiving tips from WBC middleweight belt holder, Jermall Charlo.
Joshua’s need to break free from trainer Rob McCracken, appears to be stemming from what many found to be a puzzling game plan the night Joshua squared off against Usyk. Known for his ability to box and move, Usyk employed that very tactic to outbox Joshua and dominate down the stretch.
Despite being considerably bigger than the former undisputed cruiserweight champion, Joshua never used his physical attributes to bully his man. Instead, the British native seemed content with boxing on the outside, a game plan that was widely criticized.
Throughout most of Joshua’s career, the former unified heavyweight champion has expressed the value of learning the ins and outs of the sport. He’s also preached the importance of showing respect and sportsmanship. However, with another defeat now plastered to his resume, Joshua is just about through with his whole nice guy routine.
“I’m done with trying to learn the sweet science. He might get thrown on the floor in the next fight because this is war. It’s just straight war.”
Bob Arum: “Whatever New Trainer He [Anthony Joshua] Gets, He Ain’t Gonna Beat Oleksandr Usyk”
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Joshua is seemingly on the prowl for the next lead man in his corner.
After suffering a close but clear unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th, in front of his hometown crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the United Kingdom, Joshua appears to be ready for a change.
The British native was openly criticized by media pundits, fans, and his fellow boxing contemporaries, for the game plan his team attempted to implement on fight night.
Usyk, 33, is known for his terrific boxing ability. With a 2012 Olympic gold medal, as well as an undisputed title reign in the cruiserweight division, the prevailing thought process surrounding his showdown against Joshua, was that the extremely muscular unified champion would use his size and girth to his advantage.
To the surprise of many, Joshua sought to outbox his much more skilled opponent. Ultimately, Joshua’s latest defeat has seemingly pushed him away from long-time head trainer Rob McCracken. Recently, Joshua has been seen making the rounds around several boxing gyms as he appears to be in search of a new lead voice. Amongst the many trainers Joshua has looked into, are Ronnie Shields, Eddy Reynoso, and Robert Garcia.
At the moment, Joshua has yet to officially switch trainers. However, if the former unified heavyweight titlist decides to seek help outside of his comfort zone, promoter Bob Arum views it as a complete waste of time.
“Whatever new trainer he gets, he ain’t gonna beat Oleksandr Usyk,” said Arum during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “Not now, not next year.”
With Joshua invoking his immediate rematch clause, the pair will lock horns again during the first quarter of 2022. An apoplectic Joshua was originally taken aback by what Usyk was able to accomplish in their first showdown. Despite being the much smaller man, the pound-for-pound star dominated the middle of the ring and sat in the wheelhouse of Joshua for long stretches of time, unafraid of the assault that was heading in his direction.
In the 12th and final round, Usyk appeared to be on the verge of scoring the knockout win. He pounded a hapless Joshua relentlessly against the ropes in the final seconds of their contest. With just a few months remaining until the two square off once again, Arum shakes his head as Joshua appears to be cramming last-minute knowledge into his cranium.
No matter whom Joshua picks as the man who will lead him into battle, Arum is of the belief that at this point in his career, Joshua simply doesn’t have the time.
“Usyk is too smart for him and he’s a southpaw. Joshua is not going to learn in six months what he never learned, which is how to fight a southpaw.”
Tim Bradley Believes He Knows What’s Wrong With Anthony Joshua: “I Think The Ruiz Fight Ruined Him”
By: Hans Themistode
Nothing appears to be off with Anthony Joshua. The former unified heavyweight titlist still possesses hulking muscles, still flashes a bright smile, and appears to be just as menacing as he always was. Yet, after watching Joshua over the past few fights, Tim Bradley believes something is off.
Recently, both Joshua and WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury took center just a few weeks apart from one another. Although both men were expected to leave the ring victorious, it was Joshua who was unable to hold up his end of the bargain, losing to former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk.
As Usyk’s hand was raised in triumph, Joshua congratulated his adversary and continued to do so in the back room, away from most of the cameras and press. While Bradley isn’t opposed to Joshua’s sportsmanship, he was taken aback by how the former titlist conducted himself following his most recent defeat.
“It’s a different mentality,” said Bradley during an interview with FightHype.com. “Joshua, his mentality is way different than Tyson Fury. Joshua’s okay, it just seems like he’s comfortable with losing a fight. He’s gracious and whatever you want to call it, but it’s too easy for me.”
Both Fury and Joshua, considered bitter rivals, were hoping that after their respective matches, an all British undisputed showdown could take place. Fury would go on to pick himself up off the deck twice on October 9th, to go on to stop former heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder.
Although many have pointed to tactical errors in Joshua’s game plan against Usyk, such as attempting to box a boxer as opposed to bullying him and using his size, Bradley isn’t necessarily placing his focus on the X’s and O’s. Instead, Bradley points to a long list of luxurious available to Joshua. And, more importantly, the first night Joshua tasted defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr.
“Boss, it’s hard to train when you’ve got the whole world at your feet,” claimed Bradley. “It’s hard to train and stay focused and stay dedicated and having that hunger and desire. Because success, that weakens [the mind], and I think in the Ruiz fight – I think that ruined him.”
On June 1st, 2019, Ruiz Jr. stepped in on late notice to face Joshua for his U.S. debut. Despite being considered a huge underdog on the night, Ruiz Jr. would go on to drop Joshua four times before ultimately stopping him in the seventh. The British native, however, immediately invoked his rematch clause and would go on to win a wide unanimous decision six months later.
Regardless of Joshua avenging the first loss of his career, Bradley isn’t convinced that he’s the same ferocious fighter that he once was.
“I think that ruined his confidence, I think he’s also scared to get hit. He’s gun shy, don’t wanna throw because he’s afraid of getting hit, so that’s why you didn’t see him throw.”
Eddie Hearn Only Gives Deontay Wilder A Puncher’s Chance Against Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua, And Oleksandr Usyk
By: Hans Themistode
Like many who were watching, Eddie Hearn was glued to his television set.
This past weekend, both Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder staged one of the most epic heavyweight battles in recent memory. The two clashed at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and were bombs away from the opening bell. With each man scoring numerous knockdowns, Hearn was on the edge of his seat.
By the time the dust cleared, it was Fury who was the last man standing, scoring an 11th round stoppage win. Despite Wilder picking up his second straight knockout defeat at the hands of Fury, Hearn couldn’t help but tip his cap to the hard-hitting former titlist.
“I think his credibility has gone through the roof,” said Hearn during an interview with IFL TV. “Although he looked like his tank was empty after two rounds, he stuck in there. He could not even stand up and he kept going. I give him credit, fair play.”
Wilder, 35, may have seen his bid to become a two-time heavyweight champion come to an end, but the Alabama native is far from done. According to head trainer Malik Scott, Wilder is already planning a return to the ring, but not before a long rest.
As for what could be next for the Olympic Bronze medalist, there’s a long list of highly-ranked contenders that Hearn believes could make for intriguing showdowns. Amongst them, are the likes of Dillian Whyte, newly crowned heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, and long-time rival Anthony Joshua.
Matchups against any of those previously mentioned names, however, would see Wilder as a prohibited underdog. At least, in the opinion of Hearn. While he respects Wilder and the ridiculous knockout power he brings to the table, Hearn is steadfast in his belief that unless Wilder lands his money punch, he’ll not only lose to Whyte, Usyk, and Joshua but he’ll do so quite easily.
“Whyte would do exactly the same to Wilder that Fury did, in terms of being too big and too strong but could also get KO’d. AJ, too sharp, too good a technician but could also get KO’d. Usyk would school Wilder, but could also get KO’d.”
Tyson Fury: “If I Trained Anthony Joshua, He’d Definitely Beat Oleksandr Usyk”
By: Hans Themistode
There is absolutely no love lost between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. For years on end, the two have gone back and forth with one another. At one point, a matchup between them appeared to be on the horizon. However, things have failed to materialize.
Despite Fury believing that Joshua is nothing more than a muscular brute with no true skills, Fury is willing to offer him a helping hand.
On September 25th, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the United Kingdom, Oleksandr Usyk upset the applecart by scoring a surprisingly dominant victory over Joshua. Usyk – who came into their showdown approximately 20 pounds lighter – boxed, moved, and at times, even bullied Joshua en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Following his defeat, Joshua shortly announced that he would invoke his immediate rematch clause. Promoter Eddie Hearn has since stated that he believes the pair will tango once more in the first quarter of 2022.
While Fury has never been too fond of his fellow British rival, the current WBC heavyweight titlist has revealed that both he and his trainer, would have no problem offering their level of expertise.
“I know if trained Anthony Joshua, me and Sugar Hill trained him for this next fight, he’d definitely beat Oleksandr Usyk,” said Fury to Boxing on BT Sport.
Heading into their showdown, the skills of Usyk were mostly dismissed due to the size and girth advantage of Joshua. Regardless of those assumptions, the Ukrainian had little to no trouble navigating the heavyweight waters. Usyk controlled the center of the ring early on and closed strong in the final round, even appearing to have Joshua on the verge of hitting the deck.
Although it’s unclear of whether or not Fury, or Hill for that matter, would be willing to train Joshua, the WBC belt holder wants to assure his fellow Britt that his services will come without a price tag.
“I would be open to doing it. I’d do it for free because I don’t need the money. We would take on that challenge.”
Carl Froch: ” [Oleksandr Usyk] Probably One Of The Best Southpaws I’ve Ever Seen”
By: Hans Themistode
There was a look of pure shock spread across the face of Carl Froch. As the former 168-pound champion nestled into his commentator seat for Anthony Joshua’s showdown against Oleksandr Usyk this past weekend at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the United Kingdom, Froch was confident that Joshua would take care of business and defend his heavyweight titles.
Although Usyk was extremely accomplished, having won an Olympic gold medal in the 2012 Games and unifying every single world title in the cruiserweight division, Froch simply viewed the Ukrainian as entirely too small. Despite his thoughts, Froch couldn’t believe what he was watching as Usyk went on to dominate their showdown.
It may not have been considered Joshua’s finest moment as a professional but instead of piling on, Froch has decided to look at things from a different perspective.
“It was very disappointing,” said Froch in reference to Joshua’s performance during an interview with IFL TV. “But what he can take away is that he lost to an amazing fighter. Proper, awkward, technical – probably one of the best southpaws I’ve ever seen.”
The superlative words hurled in the direction of Usyk are something that was, more or less, overlooked. At least, heading into his showdown against Joshua. For much of Usyk’s amateur and pro career, he out-skilled his opposition. However, the moment he landed in the heavyweight division in late 2019, Usyk struggled with the size and girth of his much larger opponents.
Ultimately, Froch was expecting Joshua to use his enormous frame to tilt the fight in his favor. In contrast, Joshua opted to box and move as opposed to bullying his man. As Froch recalls vividly what took place on the night, the long-retired former champion believes Joshua and his entire team took an erroneous approach.
“Usyk was brilliant, he’s like a magician in that ring. He didn’t have to do a great deal. I was disappointed in AJ. He didn’t have much success. I just feel like his game plan that he executed was all wrong.”
Froch’s comments of Joshua receiving a one-sided beating wouldn’t seem to correlate with the judge’s scorecards. Steve Weisfeld scored it narrowly in favor of Usyk, 115-113, while Howard Foster had it 116-112 for the Ukrainian. Viktor Fesechko, on the other hand, saw things a bit more differently, handing Usyk a 117-112 win.
Although those cards would indicate that their bout was a closely contested one, Froch is paying no mind to what the judges scored. To prove his point, Froch recollects the 12th and final round, where things got particularly ugly for Joshua.
“The finish in round 12,” said Froch while shaking his head. “That was a bad combination that AJ was on the end of. He looked like he was out on his feet ready to be stopped. It was a wide beating.”
Dr. Ironfist Passes The Torch to Usyk
By: John “Gutterdandy” Walker
Ukrainian boxing legend and former two-time WBC world heavyweight champion Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, currently the mayor of the country’s capital city of Kyiv, honored his countryman Oleksandr Usyk today, symbolically “passing the torch” to the man who put on a boxing display for the ages last Saturday in defeating former unified heavyweight world champ Anthony Joshua of the UK in London.
Vitali, who amassed a sterling record of 45-2-0 with 41 KOs, was the more feared of two Klitschko brothers who ruled boxing’s heavyweight division for more than a decade (his younger brother is Wladimir, who, unlike his brother, was not present today or in London for Usyk’s victory).
Mayor Klitschko symbolically awarded Usyk a WBC title belt as part of the ceremony.
Vitali Klitschko was a boxing gunslinger, and these days his reputation often suffers by his being unfairly lumped in with his younger brother’s more cautious, “jab and grab” style, when in truth Vitali seldom clinched his opponents, threw copious amounts of punches, and was blessed with a granite jaw that allowed him to fight with his hands held low. His career knockout percentage of 87 percent ranks among the best ever. He held the WBC heavyweight title twice, the second time winning it in his first fight after returning from over three years out of the ring due to a knee injury.
And the elder Klitschko brother was mightily impressed by what he saw when Usyk bravely took on a much bigger man in Joshua, fighting with skill and aggression and emerging the victor, winning the WBA, WBA, and IBF titles.
“I once again congratulate you on your victory and want to present a symbolic gift to you. You now hold four heavyweight championship belts, but you do not have a WBC belt in this category yet,” Klitschko told Usyk.
“And you will definitely win it,” an enthused Klitschko continued.
“I am presenting you with the first WBC belt with a large Ukrainian flag, which was made for the WBC Convention that took place in Kyiv in 2018. This is to make you lucky and motivated! After all, your idol, Muhammad Ali, also held such a belt,” Klitschko continued.
Also, present via video link to the ceremony was WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, whose organization gave Vitali the title of “Eternal World Heavyweight Champion.” Usyk thanked Klitschko for the honors and good wishes and told Sulaiman that the WBC strap would be the next trophy that he collects.
Usyk has expressed the desire to now spend time with his family and wants any rematch with Joshua to take place in his homeland of Ukraine.
You’re Looking At The Best Heavyweight In The World
By: Hans Themistode
Was he ever truly in the conversation? Of course not.
The best heavyweight in the world had ultimately come down to a pair of British natives and an American with a heavy right hand. Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, and Deontay Wilder all looked the part.
Joshua was a Greek God. His body was seemingly made from granite, his good looks made all of the women melt and his propensity for knockouts fit the bill perfectly. Tyson Fury didn’t have all of the hulking muscles. But he had quite possibly the best attribute on his side, reputation. Sure Fury could have an occasional lackluster showing, but with wins over Dereck Chisora, Wladimir Klitschko, and Deontay Wilder – Fury’s placement amongst the best in the world is well warranted.
Although Fury and Joshua stole most of the headlines, former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder was never forgotten. His physique seemed punitive and his fighting style could be described as both archaic and one track-minded. That said, Wilder holds arguably the most deleterious right hand in boxing history.
It was those three, no one else, who was considered the best that the heavyweight division had to offer. But while they enjoyed the superlative words hurled in their direction and eyed matchups against one another for heavyweight supremacy, Oleksandr Usyk stood quietly in the shadows with a gap-toothed smile.
The Ukrainian has never been viewed as an afterthought. As an amateur, Usyk racked up a record of 335 wins against just 15 losses, making him one of the most accomplished in history. Along the way, Usyk defeated current unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and current heavyweight contender, Joe Joyce. During the 2012 Olympic Games, Usyk breezed through the competition and found himself posing for pictures as he bit into his gold medal.
Once there was nothing left for him to accomplish in the unpaid ranks, Usyk made a b-line for the pro game. In just his tenth pro fight, he easily outboxed Krzysztof Glowacki for his first world title. Then, he took down the likes of Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew to wrap up an undisputed cruiserweight title run.
Usyk didn’t immediately make his announcement but we all knew it was coming. A move to heavyweight was inevitable. But once he officially made the jump, no one noticed his entrance. The Ukrainian and pound for pound didn’t stomp into his new weight class. Nor did he grab a microphone and toss around curse-filled threats. No, he didn’t violently kick open the door, he both casually and quietly walked through.
Once inside, Usyk’s gold medal still dangled around his neck, the four major world titles that he snagged while in the cruiserweight division were also sitting across his fairly broad shoulders. Still, no one cared or acknowledged his presence.
Even with a mandated world title shot at his disposal and the opportunity to demand immediate respect, Usyk calmly allowed several to skip him in line. He gladly stood aside and allowed both Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr. part two, to take place. He moved to the side again, though involuntarily, as Joshua was forced to accommodate IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
Even as Joshua took care of business once more and despite Usyk being guaranteed the next title shot, he openly accepted a backseat again. This time, to allow Joshua to take on Fury in an undisputed showdown. In the meanwhile, Usyk would take on amateur rival Joe Joyce.
Yet, with Deontay Wilder grabbing Fury by the hand and leading him to the dance floor, Joshua was left with defending his crown against Usyk. The game plan was simple, Joshua would placate Usyk by granting him his title shot and immediately leave him comatose on the canvas after a few rounds. Not only was that Joshua’s thought process, as he guaranteed a knockout win, but most believed their showdown would shake out in that exact same manner.
Usyk, of course, paid no attention to it. The Ukrainian continued to flash that same gap-toothed smile and made both media members and fans laugh with a quirky personality and broken English. His common catchphrase was “I’m feel, I’m very feel.” That very line even brought a chuckle to Joshua at times numerous times throughout their fight build-up.
Still, despite his effervescent attitude and accomplishments, Usyk’s time as a heavyweight was on the verge of being labeled a complete failure. After struggling with journeymen Chazz Witherspoon and Dereck Chisora in his first two dips in the heavyweight pool, many believed Usyk was in for a long and painful night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the United Kingdom this past Saturday night.
As the pound-for-pound star sauntered his way to the ring in front of a wildly pro Joshua crowd, his focus stood squarely on sending the masses home apoplectic. After 12 rounds of fairy one-sided action, Usyk did just that.
From the very beginning, Usyk dominated. He easily outboxed and outmaneuvered Joshua while consistently finding a home for his straight left hand. The middle rounds saw the former heavyweight titlist find a bit of his rhythm but it was Usyk who closed the show strong, almost stopping his man before the final bell.
Now, with three of the four major world titles tucked underneath his arm, the once incredulous looks that were glared in the direction of Usyk have turned into looks of worry. Those who doubted him are now sporting a sheepish expression on their face as this wasn’t the outcome many were anticipating.
Regardless of Usyk’s dominant victory, those in boxing circles will still point a confident finger in the direction of the winner of Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury on October 9th, as the heavyweight division’s best fighter. Those assumptions, however, are undoubtedly wrong.
Usyk has never been second best. Not as an amateur, not in the Olympic Games, not as a cruiserweight, and certainly not as a heavyweight either.
Oleksandr Usyk On Anthony Joshua Victory: “It Was The Biggest Fight But It Wasn’t The Hardest One”
By: Hans Themistode
The resume of Oleksandr Usyk can match up with just about anyone in the entire sport of boxing.
In just his 10th pro fight, Usyk lifted his first world title against Krzysztof Glowacki. He would then go on to strip every cruiserweight belt holder of their championship status. This past Saturday night, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in the United Kingdom, Usyk added to the proliferation of world titles in his possession with a fairly one-sided victory against Anthony Joshua.
Usyk admits that defeating Joshua ranks as his most impressive victory. But in terms of the most difficult contest of his career, the Ukrainian isn’t willing to go that far.
“It was the biggest fight of my career,” said Usyk following his unanimous decision victory. “But it wasn’t the hardest one.”
Usyk, 34, ignored relentless boos as he marched through Joshua’s backyard to rip away his beloved championships. As the two stood next to each other during the ceremonial weigh-ins the day prior, Joshua towered over his man. The noticeable size difference between the pair did nothing to discourage Usyk on the night.
In the early goings, the newly crowned heavyweight titlist stepped right to Joshua and took the fight to him. Usyk landed several hard left hands and slickly avoided any oncoming traffic thrown in his direction. Although many predicted Joshua would eventually score a fight-ending knockout, it was Usyk who appeared to be on his way to picking up the stoppage win.
A visibly tired Joshua wilted against the ropes in the final seconds of the 12th round and appeared relieved once the bell rung. Usyk may have snagged Joshua’s heavyweight titles with relative ease, but the pound-for-pound star refused to downplay his opponent’s performance.
In fact, even with Usyk proving that he was the far more superior boxer, he tipped his cap in respect to Joshua for everything he’s accomplished.
“We expected all of this that happened in the ring. He was the Olympic champion, he was holding all of the belts except one. What more can I say about his performance?”
Roy Jones Jr.: “He [Anthony Joshua] Just Got To Hang Out With A Killer”
By: Hans Themistode
Roy Jones Jr. has a tremendous amount of respect for Oleksandr Usyk. The former multiple division titlist has watched closely from the sidelines as Usyk dominated the cruiserweight division. Jones Jr. has also been an interested observer as Usyk made the trek to the land of the heavyweights.
Yet, no matter how much Jones Jr. reveres the Ukrainian, even he was taken aback by what took place last night.
In front of a jam-packed crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in the United Kingdom, Usyk caused a huge upset as he strolled into the backyard of Anthony Joshua and stripped him of his heavyweight titles.
Even with his astute boxing mind, Jones Jr. simply didn’t expect things to shake out the way they did. With Joshua holding a considerable height, reach, weight, and overall size advantage, Jones Jr. was fully expecting him to use all of his physical attributes on the night, especially early on.
That said, Joshua conceded much of the preceding rounds before ultimately losing a fairly wide decision. Even now, as several hours have gone by, Jones Jr. is still scratching his head as to why Joshua came out so passive.
“Joshua came out and gave Usyk respect right away,” said Jones Jr. during an interview with IFL TV. “He let Usyk basically control the center of the ring, so Usyk won the first three rounds. I was surprised.”
Usyk, a former 2012 Olympic gold medalist, broke Joshua down in the first six rounds before cruising to the finishing line. In the 12th and final round, in particular, Joshua appeared to be on his way out. The muscular former heavyweight titlist languished against the ropes as Usyk connected on several unanswered shots.
Immediately following his defeat, Joshua stepped up to the podium and announced that he would be invoking his rematch clause. Since his declaration, several boxers, including Josh Taylor, and Dillian Whyte – have admitted that they don’t like the chances of Joshua heading into part two.
For Jones Jr., he isn’t entirely ruling out a Joshua victory in the sequel. But while the all-timer could have gone into the Xs and Os and described the picture-perfect game plan for Joshua to use, he abstained from doing so. In the end, the bigger alteration that Joshua can make should come between the ears.
“There are a few adjustments he can make. A lot of it is mental, a little bit is boxing but it’s more mental than boxing. He’s just got to hang out with a killer. When I say a killer, I mean a killer in the boxing ring, not outside. He’s a very good guy and that’s fine. I was a very good guy but when I got in that boxing ring, I was a killer. He’s got to get that killer mentality.”