Anthony Joshua “can’t afford to lose this one” to Oleksandr Usyk says Todd DuBoef

By Michael Collins - 07/21/2022 - Comments

Top Rank president Todd DuBoef says Anthony Joshua is in a position where he “can’t afford” to lose his rematch with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk next month on August 20th.

Duboef points out that the boxing world views this as a “last hurrah” for the 32-year-old former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs), and they’re not going to ignore the loss if he gets beaten a second time by Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs).

The defeat would be Joshua’s third in his last five fights, making it impossible to dismiss it as just a mistake in the preparation. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has already rejected the idea of

Joshua retiring after a loss next month, and why should he? You’ve got journeyman Derek Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) with a horrendous record, and he’s still pulling in large crowds in headliner fights in the UK.

Still, for Joshua to be taken seriously by boxing fans, he can’t lose this fight against Usyk because it’s not going to work if he keeps firing trainers, hoping one can bring the magic that was there earlier in his career.

“I think the result of the [Usyk-Joshua] fight is going to be a very significant piece of the whole heavyweight division,” said Top Rank president Todd DuBoef to Sky Sports.

“Public opinion is this is AJ’s last hurrah. He can’t afford to lose this one again. He can’t afford to. People are not going to be as forgiving; he may not be as forgiving of himself.

“Change of trainer, change of a lot of stuff. The style obviously bothered him in the last fight. This is going to answer a lot of questions,” said DuBoef.

It’s silly for Joshua to think anything will change with the new trainer Robert Garcia he recently hired because the flaws in his game are beyond repair.

Unless Garcia improves Joshua’s poor punch resistance and stamina, he’s heading for disaster. Even if Joshua beats Usyk, there are other heavyweights out there that can punch and will take advantage of his weak chin.

“The question is, can he really manage the heavyweight division, or did he just get the right guy?” said DuBoef about Usyk.

“AJ, I backed him the first time, and I’m going to back him the second time,” said heavyweight contender Demsey McKean to Pro Boxing Fans in picking Joshua to defeat Usyk.

“I think he’s going to come in more polished, and I don’t know if it’ll go to points. I think he may even get a knockout in the late rounds in six to eight rounds,” said Demsey about Joshua possibly stopping the undefeated Usyk.

“I have a feeling he might get the knockout. It’s going to be a tough fight, though. It’s going to be a hard fight for both boys, having gone 12 rounds together and knowing their styles.

“rematches are always a tricky one, aren’t they? They can go either way, but I’ve got a feeling he’s [Joshua] going to win this fight by round six or eight by knockout.

“Man, he’s not retired. He’s playing the game, talking that smack, and he’s doing what he does,” said Demsey when asked if Tyson Fury will come out of retirement to fight the winner of the Joshua vs. Usyk II rematch.

“Until he’s registered with the WBC that he’s retired and that belt comes vacant, and a couple of other people fight for it, he’s not retired. It’s as simple as that.

“The WBC, they’re probably on his case, ‘Are you retiring or what because we can get a lot of money in sanctioning for this belt to fight.’ They’re a business. The sanctioning bodies need to make their money as well.

“I think he’s [Fury] going to wait for the winner, and it’s either Usyk or AJ. Then, of course, he’s going to come out, and I can guarantee you right now, he’s definitely not going to fight for free if it’s AJ. That’s for sure.

“That fight is not for free. I don’t care who it is. That’s a massive payday fight. That’s not happening for free, regardless. If he wants to fight for free, good. Give that money to charity or someone that needs it, but I guarantee nothing will be for free on that fight.

“Hey, he’s playing the game, that’s Tyson Fury, and that’s what he does,” said Demsey.

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