Even by his own admission, unbeaten heavyweight contender and current IBF mandatory challenger Filip Hrgovic has not looked great in his last two fights. For the at times laboured decision win he scored over Zhang Zhilei last August, Hrgovic says the sad passing of his father and his hooking up with a new trainer for the fight hindered his performance. For his last fight, a late stoppage win over another southpaw in Demsey McKean, Hrgovic says the year out of action he had endured going into the fight didn’t exactly help him.
Now, speaking again with IFL TV, Hrgovic has explained how and why he will be much better in his shot at reigning IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk. Hrgovic says he “will not step aside unless [they pay me] crazy money,” that he has earned his shot and he wants it. Tyson Fury, Hrgovic says, “had his chance” to get the fight with Usyk done, yet he failed to do so.
But how does Hrgovic, 16-0(13) beat Usyk?
“I think I have the best qualities to beat him, because I’m fast enough for heavyweight, I can throw a lot of punches. With Zhang, on my bad night, I throw like, nearly 800 punches. It’s a lot for a heavyweight,” Hrgovic said. “So, I’m fast enough, and I have a good chin – he can’t knock me out. And I’m a big puncher, you know. So, [yes] I think I have enough, as [far as] stamina to throw a lot of punches, because you just need to push him back and make him in trouble. When you see [Daniel] Dubois, when he let his hands go, he gave him trouble. A big guy, throwing punches, throwing right hands and left hooks – Usyk don’t like that. And you need to go to the body (against Usyk) and I go to the body. I think I’m a good body puncher.”
Hrgovic, a big guy at 6’6” and around 240 pounds will, like Anthony Joshua and Dubois, have considerable advantages over former cruiserweight Usyk as far as weight and height. And, in a nutshell, Hrgovic says that, tactics aside, “you just need to push him (Usyk) back, throw a lot of punches and go have a war with him.”
Usyk “can’t go into war with the big guys,” Hrgovic insists, pointing out how Joshua didn’t push Usyk back and explaining how Dubois didn’t throw enough punches. Hrgovic says he will bully Usyk and he will throw enough punches. But, as Mike Tyson famously said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
Usyk may not be a big guy or an especially big puncher, but he can hurt you, he can discourage you, and Usyk can take you out of your game-plan. Chances are pretty good, it will be Usyk-Hrgovic next, as Usyk wants to keep hold of his belts. Can Hrgovic win the fight and, perhaps more importantly as far as Usyk’s manager is concerned, can Hrgovic sell the fight?
Do YOU give Hrgovic a chance when it comes to taking Usyk’s belts and unbeaten record?