For boxing fans, this weekend’s heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk is one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
Should Joshua successfully defend his titles, he will be in the running to face the winner of Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III, with the subsequent winner of that fight becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 2002.
However, the fight could present a significant challenge for the bookmakers, with the quick and versatile Usyk coming in as underdog – and it is now an established fact that Joshua can be unseated from his heavyweight throne by an unlikely contender, demonstrated by Andy Ruiz’s shocking seventh round victory in 2019.
The match was the main talking point on the latest episode of the Betfred Boxing Show with Anthony ‘Million Dolla’ Crolla and Dom McGuinness, who spoke to Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher, Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk and prolific British women’s fighter Natasha Jonas.
For Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher, the fight almost seemed too close too call, with the legendary Manchester-based coach pointing that Joshua is a ‘slow starter’, and has been hurt and stunned early on in fights against contenders such as Dilllian Whyte and most famously Andy Ruiz Jr.
However, he also noted Joshua’s power, whilst making his own observation – from the standpoint of a veteran boxing trainer – that fighter’s with a strong straight-right hand punch, such as Joshua, often fare well against southpaw boxers such as Usyk.
“I’m a believer that a good big one should beat a good little one,” he said, commenting on Usyk’s rise from the cruiserweight division to heavyweight. “People often forget that Joshua was a good Olympian himself, a good boxer – they both have their vulnerabilities, and the best man on the day will win.”
Adding his own comments via video link, Krassyuk shared his views that Usyk’s training and conditioning was going well, and felt that this would be proven on Saturday night, although noting that as a sports businessman and not a trainer this was not his area of expertise.
“It doesn’t happen too often, when two Olympic champions fight in the heavyweight division for the unification, especially fighters that great,” he said.
“According to what we all see, this is the fight of the year if you consider it from the point of expectations. This is the highest anticipated fight which is in progress and very likely to happen this Saturday.”
Source – Betfred YouTube Channel