Anthony Joshua, Boxing

Anthony Joshua, Boxing

Anthony Joshua keeps the pounds off to counter Oleksandr Usyk’s ringcraft

Anthony Joshua keeps the pounds off to counter Oleksandr Usyk’s ringcraft

9/24/2021 9:05:00 PM

Anthony Joshua keeps the pounds off to counter Oleksandr Usyk’s ringcraft

Anthony Joshua weighed in at 240lb, his lightest for seven years, for his fight against the technically accomplished Oleksandr Usyk

Usyk is a very different proposition. The former undisputed world cruiserweight champion weighed in at 221lb for only his third fight in boxing’s flagship division. Usyk is a more natural ring technician and it would be a major surprise if Joshua tried to outbox him. The champion has spoken of his desire to showcase his own underrated prowess and he revealed recently that in training for this fight he has sometimes sparred 12 rounds and only used his left hand in an attempt to prepare himself for Usyk’s southpaw stance. But his trainer, Robert McCracken, will remind him of the key fundamentals.

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Joshua is 6ft 6in, with a three-inch height advantage and far greater reach than Usyk. The 19-pound weight difference is smaller than many expected but Joshua should still look to use his more imposing physique and greater punching power to dominate the challenger.

Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks.But Usyk is almost certainly the most accomplished boxer he has faced in his eight years as a professional. If the Ukrainian can absorb Joshua’s jolting power, he clearly has the ringcraft and tactical acumen to beat the far bigger champion. All week numerous seasoned fight experts have been leaning away from Joshua to pick Usyk to win on points. Their arguments are often compelling but, in heavyweight boxing, bludgeoning force usually prevails. headtopics.com

Joshua will be tested in new and complex ways but his physical advantages and sheer power should help him retain his titles. Whether it is by stoppage or, more likely, on points, Joshua will probably have to earn one of the proudest victories of his career the hard way.

Read more: The Guardian »

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