Usyk vs Joshua II: big fight preview
It’s the fight we’ve all been looking forward to, and on Saturday, 20th August, in Jeddah, Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua will renew rivalries in a rematch. The IBF, IBO, WBA, and WBO world heavyweight titles are on the line as Usyk makes the first defense of the belts he won from AJ last summer at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. Will the rematch bring boxing bettors repeat or revenge?
That remains to be seen, but both fighters have promised to win this bout in style and with Oleksandr and Anthony convinced they are good enough to live up to those boasts, we are in for a memorable evening. The bout in Jeddah was a surprise as it was expected to be fought in either the United Kingdom or the United States, but the ring’s location will make no difference to either warrior. This is a clash of two gladiators of the modern era, and sparks will fly.
Boxing is one of the most popular sports in the world and has been for generations. The big fights pull in millions of viewers, with fight fans eager to keep up with the latest from their sport. They want to see the best fighting the best, and this bout gives them that. But who will come out on top and edge closer to a unification bout with WBC champion Tyson Fury? Read on as our big fight preview aims to answer that question.
Usyk remains unbeaten
Oleksandr Usyk is the former cruiserweight unified world champion who beat all comers in the sport’s second-highest division, including Briain’s David Haye and Tony Bellew. The Ukrainian fighter then moved up to heavyweight, taking out another Brit in Derek Chisora, claiming a wide points victory over WAR, who recently defeated Kubrat Pulev. Beating WAR Chisora in England was no mean feat, but Usyk’s skill and speed proved to be the deciding factor at Wembley Arena.
Since scoring that useful win over a dogged and determined Del Boy, Usyk has fought only once, but it’s quality over quantity. He beat Joshua on points in London with the scorecards that evening, handing the away fighter all belts thanks to margins of five, four and two rounds. There could be no denying the right man had his hand raised at the end of that fight, but can he do it again?
Traders working at major betting apps believe so, pricing Usyk as the pre-fight betting to add another win to his already impressive perfect record. He has won each of his previous 19 outings, scoring 13 KO wins during that run. Looking at his most recent form, Oleksandr has won each of his last two on points, and backers will be keen on a treble.
AJ must do it all again
Joshua is entering familiar territory as the Englishman, a former ruler of the division, has previously lost his world title and had to win it back in Saudi Arabia. He was KO’d by Andy Ruiz Jr in the biggest upset heavyweight boxing has seen in a generation, but AJ clawed it back, winning the rematch on points to regain his belts.
Joshua brings a professional boxing CV that details 24 wins against two defeats, with all but three of his previous bouts ending by knockout or stoppage. He went the distance with Usyk, Ruiz and Joseph Parker in Cardiff back in 2018. Despite being a former world champion, AJ has sunk to fourth in the rankings after losing half of his last four bouts, and if that stretches to two wins in five, we could see his time as a major contender coming to an end. There’s a lot riding on the outcome of this bout, but if Joshua is to win, he must upset the experts who have all picked Usyk to do the double.
Joshua got his tactics all wrong in the first bout, opting to try and box with one of the most naturally gifted fighters on the planet. To get his revenge and win back his world titles, Anthony must use his size, strength and punch power.