Oleksandr Usyk has more than enough power to defeat Anthony Joshua next Saturday on September 25th, according to Michael Hunter. He views Usyk as having the most challenging style imaginable for a fighter like IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) to be facing.
Joshua will be defending his three belts in the main event against his WBO mandatory Usyk next Saturday night in front of 60,000 screaming fans at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, UK.
Most of the fans will be cheering for Joshua, but that won’t bother the well-seasoned Usyk, who is accustomed to fighting in front of hostile crowds from his amateur days. He’s not going to be bothered by Joshua’s fans, and he’s instead looking forward to the experience.
The 2o12 Olympian Hunter fought Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) in 2017, and he didn’t do too well, losing a 12 round unanimous decision. Hunter found some success early with his high-volume punch attack.
But after Usyk made an adjustment after the third round, Hunter’s offense was shut down permanently for the remainder of the night.
Now it’s Joshua’s turn to have to deal with the crafty Usyk, and Hunter has some warnings for the big 6’6″ AJ that he may be stepping into a minefield on the night.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) September 19, 2021
“He is fleet-footed and defensive-minded,” Hunter said of Oleksandr Usyk to Sky Sports News. “It will be very difficult to actually get a win over Usyk.
“Joshua will have to have a concrete game-plan and follow it. It will be a very hard task,” said Hunter.
It’s not a mystery what Joshua’s game plan is for this fight with Usyk, as the whole world knows what he aims to try.
Joshua will use the old Wladimir Klitschko spoiling style of fighting to keep Usyk’s offense effectively bottled up on the inside.
The Klitschko style Joshua will be using:
- Jabbing frequently
- Staying at range
- Clinching whenever Usyk gets close
- Lots of movement+ changing directions
- Single power shots – No combination punching
- Throwing left hooks
As we saw in Joshua’s rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. and his match against Joseph Parker, he’s very effective when using the Klitschko template to disarm his opponents.
Unfortunately for Joshua, Usyk knows the Klitschko style like the back of his hand, and he knows precisely how to defeat that style. If Joshua chooses to use the Klitschko style, which he probably will, Usyk will be ready to take it apart like a safe cracker.
“If he pulls it off? Give the man credit,” said Hunter about Usyk. “Because this style of fighting, for him, is the most difficult.”
“Anybody at the 200lbs weight class is pretty much a heavyweight. We all hit hard,” said Hunter.
With Joshua’s history of a weak chin, even a 175-lb fighter would give him problems if he got hit on the jaw. IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev could hurt Joshua if he landed some of his shots with full power.