As time talks about entering Saturday’s heavyweight champion vs. unified champion Anthony Joshua vs. former undisputed heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usek, perhaps the most striking part is the actual relationship between them. Almost nothing was said on the previous page.
In a department full of extraordinary people from Tyson Fury and Deonte Wilder to Derek Chisola and Dillion White, the ring will be shared at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in England The two combatants clearly lacked the headlines and other healthy respect for each person’s headlines (1pm Eastern Time, DAZN).
From the perspective of the 34-year-old Ukrainian Usek (18-0, 13 KO) and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Joshua, this strategy seems to be well thought out. At the press conference on Thursday, Usik wore a suit from the “Batman” Joker’s wardrobe, which perfectly embodied what happened in his genius and very crazy mind.
The 6-foot-3 left-hander, known for his dry comedy style, chose not to show his cards before the game. In fact, all his interviews were brief and awkward, especially when asked how he would overcome the height difference of 3 inches in height, 4 inches in arms and 18.5 pounds in weight after Joshua reached 240 pounds on Friday. .
“I haven’t even considered this question, whether he looks thin and tall or whatever,” Usek Tell IFL TV“We will go to see it on Saturday night.
“He is a very, very, very famous person. Even the old lady in our country knows who he is.”
When specifically asked whether his fighting week strategy was to play a mental game, Usek showed his trademark sinister smile.
“Life is a game,” Usek said. When asked how he thought he could get rid of defeats against the defending WBA, WBO and IBF champions, he also spoke very well.
“Boxing, boxing,” Usek said. “Boxing will take place on Saturday night.”
Can’t get enough boxing and mixed martial arts? Get the latest news from the world of fighting sports from two of the best people in the industry. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell For the best analysis and in-depth news, including a full preview of Joshua and Usek on Saturday night below.
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) is not much better. He seems to have diverted all the specific questions about Usyk’s unique skills as a smart boxer and tactician, and turned to focus on why he is unwilling to avoid a mandatory challenge to such an accomplished enemy.
“I like Retro Warriors,” Joshua said after the last press conference on Thursday. “I am not a professional historian because I spend a lot of time practicing. I don’t really fight fighters because I want people to respect me. It’s not complicated. If you tell me I’m playing King Kong, I will be full Yes. This is my job. To be honest, it is a blessing. I love my job.
“I know [Usyk would be the next opponent] About three or four months ago, I seized this opportunity. Why am I worried? As long as I can wake up the next day and be happy and happy, what should I worry about? This is about accepting personal challenges. I happen to be in a position where people are interested in my work. ”
Like most boxing fans, Joshua prefers to return to the WBC and direct champion Fury this summer, rather than crowning the first undisputed heavyweight champion in the four-belt era. However, after Wilder submitted a court injunction to enforce his contractual obligations with Fury for a rematch, the two-game deal was cancelled at the last minute.
Entering Usyk, he proposed on paper the type of challenge that Joshua has not yet faced during his five-year reign as a heavyweight champion. The challenge was lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. by his TKO in 2019 (Joshua decided Retaliated for six months) and after a brief interruption).
Although Usyk was promoted from the heavyweight to his two heavyweight games and won, his close victory over Chisora last fall made critics doubt whether he can handle the power and size of an elite super heavyweight like Joshua.
Departing from London on Saturday night, the undercard was filled out quite well. The joint main event saw the WBO heavyweight champion defending, with champion Lawrence Okoli playing against Dylan Prasovic. Okolie is a Londoner who has not tasted defeat in 16 games of his career. He has scored 13 knockout rounds along the way and possesses great strength, as evidenced by his defeat of Krzysztof Głowacki in March. At the same time, Prasovic has also remained unbeaten in 12 knockouts in 15 games, but the Montenegrin native has not faced a match of the same level so far.
In addition, when former WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith (Callum Smith) played against Lenin Castillo in a feature game, he returned to the game. Smith has not participated in the competition since he decided to lose to Canelo Alvarez and lost the title in December 2020. Prior to this, Smith had won the WBA 168-pound championship in three games, beating George Groves, Hassan Ndum N’Jikam and John Ryder. At the same time, Castillo has won four of the past six games, and only two losses were won in higher-level games.
Battle card, odds
Odds for betting on Caesars Sports
- Anthony Joshua (c) -270 vs. Oleksandr Usyk +220, WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion
- Lawrence Okolie (c) -2200 vs. Dilan Prasovic +1100, WBO heavyweight champion
- Callum Smith -4000 vs. Lenin Castillo +1500, light heavyweight
- Florian Maku-700 vs. Maxim Prodin +500, welterweight
- Christopher Ousley -110 vs. Khasan Baysangurov -110, middleweight
- Campbell Hatton -3000 vs. Sonni Martinez +1300, lightweight
- Daniel Lapin -4500 vs. Pawel Martyniuk +1600, light heavyweight
- date: September 25 | Place: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium-London
- Starting time: 1 p.m. Eastern time (main event is scheduled to be around 5:10 p.m. Eastern time)
- television: Traditional PPV is only $34.99 (see local list)
- How to watch/stream: DAZN (Subscribe now)
If Joshua can use his speed and power to punish Usek as soon as possible or stop him completely, then all discussions about Ukrainian wizard-like boxing skills will be meaningless. But this may be in the second half of the battle, and if Usyk sets enough early traps before being late, things may get interesting.
Joshua, who has the most gorgeous resume of the top heavyweights and possibly the most comprehensive performer, is not incapable of boxing or executing match plans. It is unfair to make it feel like an all-or-nothing situation of knockout or bankruptcy. At the same time, however, the combination of Usek’s ingenuity and Joshua’s significant weakness makes it difficult to underestimate the legitimate opportunities of the weak.
For any problem with Usyk’s lack of bulk or punch strength, he has enough guts to fight in his pocket due to his speed, spin defense, and accurate combination. The pressure Usyk exerts in doing so can cause fatigue, especially for a more muscular big man like Joshua, who has endured great endurance in large battles, including when he was forced to stand up from the canvas in 2017 Complete the Wladimir Klitschko competition.
If Joshua is tired of the battle Usyk brings him and there is no AJ to make him pay for it, that is when the champion’s unpredictable jaw may come into play. Usek’s powerful shot was accurate enough, and a tired Joshua might find himself in trouble. In fact, Usek proved in his incredible process of winning the undisputed heavyweight championship that he can stand up at important moments-including his decision to defeat Maris Bridis with a majority of votes- This fact cannot be ignored.
Although Usyk needs to avoid the last blow and show a chin that is durable enough to use such a bold style at close range, compared with Chisora, Joshua’s physical fitness is not as good as Chisora, who can grab and beat Usyk— —Especially to the body — and the advantage of slowing down his footsteps.
If Usyk has his life’s battle, given that AJ’s battle in a deafening football stadium is like a rock concert, convincing all three judges may still be an uphill battle. But Usyk’s skills are enough to make it successful.
Pick: Usyk via SD12
Who will win Joshua and Usek? Which 3-1 prop bet should you end? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets, All from CBS fighting sports experts, he participated in some of the biggest fights of the year and found out the answers.