Few fights this year will rise to the magnitude of tomorrow night’s Heavyweight clash. While fans were eagerly awaiting an all-British showdown between Joshua and Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk is a worthy contender in his own right, looking to make history and use the technical skill he used to dominate the Cruiserweight division to dethrone the champion. Here are the picks from some of our forum members:
Joshua will start slowly and Usyk will also be boxing in spurts looking to nick rounds and feel his way in. Midway in AJ will catch him, hurt him and take control. Might stop him there, might take a few rounds.
I think AJ will stop him between the 6th and 8th rounds, possibly earlier. I also believe he will be up on the cards at the time of the stoppage too.
It will go to points, Joshua will win deservedly in a close competitive fight having hurt him a couple of times, but certain folk on here will be claiming Usyk schooled him.
Joshua will start strong and dominate behind the jab, while Usyk uses his feet to keep Joshua working at a decent pace. By the mid rounds Joshua will slow down and Usyk will be landing accurate single punches, later Usyk will be able to exploit Joshua’s tiredness and land combinations that will stop Joshua late.
I don’t think Usyk is as difficult to hit as is made out. The only decent level fighter he has made swing at air all night was Gassiev who didn’t throw a jab all night and had immediate shoulder surgery post fight on his lead arm.
However I do think he has a concrete jaw that despite the size advantage AJ won’t but much of a dent in (feel Joshua may have more joy to the body). The pick is for Joshua, despite breathing out of his arse during points in the fight to prevail on points.
Joshua will NOT try to blow him away early.He thinks he’s Willie Pastrano cos he kept Ruiz at distance. There’ll be a bit of posing/feinting/ fencing in the early rounds. Might even look to be a bit of a stinker. Things will improve in the second half but it won’t really catch fire. It will be quite close but matter who you think has got it you of course know who will get the nod. AJ points
I think Usyk comprehensively outboxes AJ. Will get with a few good shots at some point but will take them well and take a points decision.
It’ll go one of two ways: either Usyk can’t take Joshua’s power, gets overpowered, walked through and stopped in the first four; or, Joshua starts well but as it moves into the mid rounds and he can’t hurt Usyk his stamina starts to sap due to all the movement, fainting, turning and postering of Usyk. Usyk outboxes him to a decision. Joshua gets the nod.
Usyk survives an early knockdown and begins to fight conservatively, tiring AJ out with movement and straight lefts to the body. Lots of cagey middle rounds, Usyk begins to take over in the 9th, sweeps the last few rounds, but winds up on the wrong edge of a controversial decision people brush off saying at least we get AJ – Fury.
Joshua takes the early rounds behind a strong jab, but Usyk makes him work more than desired due to his movement and pressure, by the mid round Usyk starts catching him and wearing the bigger man out but hasn’t got the power to do more. Turns into a bit of a dog fight in the late rounds and AJ gets a knockdown with a huge uppercut to swing the fight his way. Close, close fight.
I expect a slow opening from Usyk as he reads AJ’s movement and gauges how he feels AJ will progress. Expect AJ to move cagey through the openers but I do expect the bout to explode around mid-fight with a knockout due in or around the championship rounds.
Usyk is a puzzle but he isn’t impossible to work out. A determined AJ will catch-him handily but whether it’s enough to dent the Ukranian fully is hard to determine – calling a late Usyk stoppage as he overwhelms Joshua.
Usyk doesn’t have the speed or power to worry Joshua and Joshua wins it any way he likes. It might take a couple of Joshua rounds won off the back of his jab before Usyk realises he has to make a fight of it if he wants to win.
He gets close and Joshua gets to work on him, Usyk has a granite chin but can be hurt to the body and this is how the fight gets won. That body work stops Usyk, either directly or by setting up the headshot or by Usyk deciding he wants no more part of it and gets on his bike for the remainder of the fight to avoid further hurt.
Joshua will start big and strong, take the centre of the ring and dominate behind the jab. Usyk will start slowly as is usual and will try to fight in snatches, in and out very quickly. Joshua will catch Usyk early, Usyk will ride out the storm due to his iron mandible but the heavy shots will accumulate and he will fall around round 6. AJ KO6.
Joshua lands something big early first three four rounds,Usyk visibly shaken to his boots.Takes his time maybe within the following rounds but he finds something big again.Game over.Joshua KO.
Usyk realizes early on that he’s going to be caught with jabs on the way in. That slows his advances and turns the fight into a chess match without a ton of action. AJ carries rounds largely using his jab and being considered in control of the fight. Wide decision for AJ in a rather uneventful affair.
I think Usyk surprises Joshua and wins the first 3 rounds comfortably. Joshua then gets into a decent rhythm and wins by late stoppage pummelling Usyk in the corner, his most impressive comeback yet.
Both are slow starters. AJ will probably win the first 2 rounds on activity and his jab. Usyk will start coming on and possibly surprise AJ with his counters and gain momentum. AJ drops him around round 6, but doesn’t ultimately stop him until round 8.
AJ takes centre ring, uses his size advantage and backs Usyk up. Buzzes Usyk a few times before stopping him around 4-5… unfortunately.
Usyk to outbox to a 116-112 card. What the judges score it remains to be seen
Joshua late stoppage,this fight is keeping my interest in boxing on life support and if there is any controversy I’ll pull the plug on it.
David Ike Ibeabuchi:
After a frankly tedious 4 rounds, AJ catches Usyk in the 5th, knocks him down twice, and the fight is stopped.