Deontay Wilder wasn’t in the least surprised at seeing Anthony Joshua lose his three heavyweight world titles to Oleksandr Usyk last week in London.
Wilder says he knew going into that fight that the highly technical former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) was going to be a hard fight for Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs).
Deontay feels that it was a wrong style match-up for Joshua, and there wasn’t much he could do about it. Usyk had the perfect style to beat Joshua, especially with the flawed game plan that he came into that fight with.
Usyk had the speed from having fought most of his career at cruiserweight, and he was too much for Joshua technique-wise.
Also, Joshua wasn’t fighting his regular game because he thought he could out-box Usyk, which was a dreadful move on his part.
“I wasn’t [surprised] at all, I wasn’t at all,” said Wilder to BT Sport Boxing on Anthony Joshua’s loss to Oleksandr Usyk last week. “Malik [Scott] always talks about how skillful he is and especially coming from cruiserweight.
“Styles make fights, and he [Usyk] definitely has had his struggles in the heavyweight division. He had his struggles with Chazz Witherspoon, and he had his struggles with Derek Chisora,” said Wilder.
It’s possible that Usyk held back in his fights with Chisora and Witherspoon, choosing not to display his full arsenal for fear of scaring off Joshua.
Comparing how Usyk fought against Chisora & Witherspoon to how he performed against Joshua, it’s almost two different fighters. Usyk was in third gear against those two journeymen and in first gear against Joshua.
“With Joshua, he just had his number at that point of time, and I think he’s [Usyk] going to have his number even more so the second time around. And like he [Usyk] said, it’s going to be faster, and I think it’s going to be faster as well,” said Wilder.
Wilder is one of many who feel that Joshua will lose to Usyk and get beaten even worse than last time. What’s troubling is that Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn aren’t hitting the brakes on the Usyk fight like they should.
There’s nothing wrong with Joshua fighting Usyk again, but he should do it after three or four fights because he’s badly in need of confidence right now.
Additionally, taking other fights first will give Joshua and his trainer Rob McCracken time to bring back his old aggressive style of fighting. It’s been a long time since Joshua fought aggressively, and it might not be easy for him to return to the fighter that he used to be when he was in the zenith of his career.
“Who knows? We really don’t know until it’s time for things to happen,” said Wilder.”Some people say, ‘Skills, skills, skills,’ but that’s just a broken record. We’ve seen many guys with skulls, and they still lost.