Looking past an opponent, towards an even bigger fight, can be dangerous. We’ve seen over the years, many times, a great fighter make the mistake of looking too far ahead and losing as a result. But recently crowned WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champ Oleksandr Usyk says he will not make this mistake in his return fight with Anthony Joshua. As fans know, Usyk dethroned Joshua to take the belts in September and the two are set for their rematch next spring.
Usyk, speaking with The Independent, said he is looking at improving on his own performance in the rematch, that he is not concerned over how much Joshua can improve. Usyk added how he likes the idea of facing Tyson Fury in a massive unification showdown.
“Of course, it’s not always good to think about another opponent when you have a fight lined up but what I like about Fury is his boxing competence,” Usyk said. “Stylistically, he’s very technical. He’s educated in the ring. I think it would be a good fight, I’d have to bring my best game.”
Joshua says he can up his game, or at least his game plan, and get revenge over Usyk next year. However, plenty of fans and experts feel Usyk can and will beat Joshua a second time. It’s very interesting hearing Usyk say he can get even better. Already, at age 34, after 19 pro fights, Usyk has looked nothing short of brilliant in the ring. But is Usyk good enough, big enough, to be able to beat Fury? No disrespect to AJ, but a Fury Vs. Usyk fight is the single most fascinating heavyweight match-up that can be made today.
Usyk says he’d have to bring his “best game” to beat Fury. Did Usyk show us his best stuff in the Joshua win? Very possibly not. How much greater can the southpaw from Ukraine become? It’s up to Joshua to prove his critics wrong and prove himself right and get the revenge win next year, but if he cannot do it Fury will hopefully be next in line when it comes to solving the Usyk puzzle. But can Usyk solve the Fury puzzle?
Again, it’s a truly fascinating fight.