Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2 is almost upon us, and with the big fight captivating the boxing world, some of the sport’s biggest names have given very interesting predictions.
On August 20, two sporting icons will go toe-to-toe for the heavyweight championship of the world. In a bout that has divided the public, AJ will desperately try to reclaim his belts, while the Ukrainian looks determined to cement his place as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
Prior to the pair’s first encounter last Autumn, many believed that the former undisputed Cruiserweight champ lacked the size to compete with the big boys. Despite his outrageous boxing IQ, AJ fans predicted that their man would KO his opponent with one of his dynamite right hands.
But they were greatly mistaken. Although the Brit landed his lottery punch on a couple of occasions, he couldn’t deal with Usyk’s movement. The southpaw slowly downloaded the data before leaving Joshua in complete bewilderment. The powerhouse attempted to get back into the fight. However, ultimately, his opponent was just too good.
Usyk won the bout via unanimous decision, and believes he’ll do the same when the pair meet again.
But with the former champion determined to reclaim his belts, some believe his team might’ve crafted a winning game plan. However, we won’t know for sure until fight night. But to give you a better insight, we’ve put together a list of breakdowns from a plethora of boxing greats.
Here are some of the expert predictions ahead of Usyk vs Joshua 2:
‘The Gypsy King’ gave his analysis to Gareth A Davies after the rematch became official.
He explained: “In heavyweight boxing, it only takes one punch,” he said. “It wasn’t a complete landslide last time. Usyk had a lot of marks on his face, he was cut up.
“He’s not hard to hit, Usyk. He’s right there in front of you. So Joshua can obviously land a big punch, but I just think that Usyk’s too cute for him. Too smart, too quick, and a southpaw.”
In an interview with talkSPORT, ‘The Hayemaker’ gave his verdict.
He claimed: “I really believed first time round that Anthony Joshua was going to beat Usyk. I just thought physically, he was too big, too imposing, punched too hard, and when they got in close, he would just be able to rough him up.
“But, he did the polar opposite to all of the things I thought he needed to do to win. This time around, after Anthony Joshua reviewed the fight, I think he knows what he did wrong.”
Haye continued: “I think he’s going to do what he should’ve done in the first fight, and that’s be the bigger man, push the rules to the limit. You need to be warned by the referee for infringing some of the rules and while doing that, do some damage inside.
“So, he really needs to get inside and rough up the much smaller man, and I think that, if he does, athletic-wise, he will win. But it’s just down to mentally whether he’s ready to go into that battle zone, and rough him up.
“If he is, he wins. But if he does the same thing again and tries to have a long-range boxing match, he loses. But I don’t think he’s going to make the same mistake twice.”
‘The Bomber’ broke down the contest in his DAZN column.
The former world champion predicted: “If Joshua can use his size, speed, and power, but do it correctly, then he can get Usyk’s attention and let him know he’s in with a different animal from the first fight.”
Bellew added: “That’s the approach Joshua should take. Let Usyk know he’s in a tough fight right from the outset.
“This fight will mean the world to Joshua after what happened in the first one. But make no mistake about it, he’s going to be a threat in this division, no matter what the result.”
‘King Khan’ is no stranger to big fights, making him the perfect man to give his opinion on this mouth-watering contest.
He told talkSPORT: “We all want AJ to win the fight, obviously him being British, we want to bring them heavyweight titles back to Britain.”
The British icon continued: “I think he wins this fight. He beats Usyk, but it will be a difficult task.
“He then goes on and maybe does an undisputed clash with Tyson Fury, which will be a massive fight in the UK.”
‘The Juggernaut’ has a massive collision coming up against Joseph Parker at the Manchester Arena. But prior to his fight, there’s a bout between two men he knows very well. Having sparred AJ and fought Usyk in the amateurs, he might have the greatest insight of anyone on the planet.
The heavyweight told talkSPORT: “Usyk’s already beaten Joshua. So it’s the same thing again, and he also has the confidence from beating him the first time.”
Joyce elaborated: “So, it’s down to Joshua now to step his game up, and try and get back those titles. I still think Usyk’s got what it takes to bash him up again.
“But Joshua has a puncher’s chance, a heavy punch. But if he can’t land those big shots, then it’s Usyk again.”
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