What if Anthony Joshua loses his upcoming fight with Oleksandr Usyk? There is a rematch clause in place, so if the Ukrainian southpaw did pull it off on September 25 there would almost certainly be an immediate rematch (providing AJ wasn’t so badly beaten and demoralised he decided to quit). But where would that leave Tyson Fury; or more importantly, the super-fight between Fury and Joshua?
We would almost certainly wave goodbye to it, and Fury would have to move on in search of other big and meaningful fights. Not to worry says Bob Arum – there are still “a lot of good opponents” for Fury to get it on with. Speaking with Sky Sports, the Hall of Fame promoter said that he will in fact be rooting for Usyk, who he is friendly with, and that if Usyk beat AJ and then had a return fight with him, Fury would fight someone in the US while Usyk and AJ “finish their business.”
“There are a lot of good heavyweights that we could fight,” Arum said when on the subject of what happens if AJ loses to Usyk. “Tyson, because of his personality, has really appealed to the American audience and is such a big favourite in the US. We would do a fight for Tyson in the US while Joshua and Usyk finish their business. Usyk is a friend of mine because he is Vasiliy Lomachenko’s friend. It is against my economic interest, but I will be rooting for him in the fight. I can’t help it.”
Usyk has, in the opinion of plenty of good judges, the style, the skill and the boxing brain to cause Joshua all manner of problems. The big question is, is Usyk big enough to beat a monster heavyweight like AJ? This is a question Arum has found himself asking.
“This is a new era. We have never seen heavyweights of the size that we see now,” Arum said. “We’ve never seen a guy of 6’9” like Tyson fight the way he does. Or Joshua. They are all huge. Evander Holyfield was a light-heavyweight, then a cruiserweight, then a great heavyweight. Other than Riddick Bowe there weren’t many big guys that he fought. Mike Tyson was relatively little. In ordinary times a guy like Usyk, against a 6’2” heavyweight, has a really good shot. But against a massive guy like Joshua? It may be a bridge too far.”
Heaven knows 2021 has not been the busiest year for the heavyweights, but the September 25th fight is easily the most intriguing heavyweight fight of the year. Can Usyk beat the giant, or will the old adage, ‘a good big man beats a good small man,’ be obeyed once again?