As is always the case ahead of a big fight, the folks at Ring Magazine have posted on the Ringtv.com site an experts poll, with 22 experts from the sport, be they active or retired fighters, writers, or pundits, giving their take on this Saturday night’s hugely intriguing Anthony Joshua Vs. Oleksandr Usyk heavyweight championship showdown in London.
And the poll makes interesting reading. For although the majority of experts are picking Joshua to win and retain his three world titles, there are a couple of picks that stand out.
Most of the experts asked feel AJ will win by decision; either wide or close – with no less than 15 of the 22 experts picking Joshua to win on points. Four experts pick Joshua to get the stoppage win, while only two experts pick Usyk to pull off the win; while one expert is predicting a draw.
Here are the people who disagree with the majority of the panel and either pick Usyk to get the win or feel, in the case of one person, we will see a draw.
Duke McKenzie, the former three-weight world champ, picks Usyk by late rounds TKO. “I think Usyk is all wrong for Joshua,” Duke says. “I take Usyk by late stoppage.”
While match-maker Jolene Mizzone picks the former undisputed cruiserweight king to get the win via unanimous decision. “I am going with Usyk since he is the better boxer,” Mizzone says, adding how “we don’t know how good Usyk’s chin is, but I believe if it holds up, he will win by unanimous decision, maybe not on the cards, but in everyone who is watching’s eyes.”
Does Mizzone see a controversial decision being awarded to an undeserving Joshua?
Kathy Duva is picking the draw. “Usyk is the better all-round fighter, “Duva says. “But, of course, in the UK he will need a KO to win. The [Andy] Ruiz fights show that Joshua is challenged by a boxer. So Usyk might outbox him. But this in England. And Joshua is England’s biggest star. So, I’m picking the draw.”
So, Duva’s pick is also one that sees some, shall we say, potential home cooking scoring. But will the fight reach the later rounds, let alone the final bell. For my two cents, I think the early rounds will be crucial, for Usyk and for his chin. If the naturally smaller man is still there by the middle rounds, however, we will have a real fight on our hands.
Prediction: Usyk by late rounds stoppage over a gassed, confused, and demoralized Joshua.