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Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk Tips - Usyk to shock boxing world with Joshua win

  • Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk predictions for unified heavyweight title fight
  • Joshua IBF/WBA & WBO heavyweight champ
  • Usyk WBO no.1 contender
  • Stats, preview, predictions and boxer news
Oleksandr Usyk
(Getty Images)
Dan Hunter 04 Jul 2021
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Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk Tips 

Britain’s Anthony Joshua will make the ninth defense of his unified heavyweight titles when he takes on mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk on August 21. Joshua, holder of the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO titles had hoped to fight WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury in a mega-fight in Saudi Arabia this summer, but Fury was legally obliged to go through with a contracted third fight with former champion Deontay Wilder. 

Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk is ranked no.1 by the WBO, and Joshua would have been stripped of that title had he failed to defend against the undefeated Ukrainian. While all fight fans would love to have seen Joshua vs Fury for all the belts, Joshua vs Usyk is also a great matchup, and highly intriguing.

Oleksandr Usyk
(Getty Images)

At 6’3” and around 220 lbs, Usyk will be the smaller man by some 3 inches and at least 20 pounds. However, the Ukrainian is a masterful boxer, with excellent footwork and fast hands, and could cause Joshua a lot of problems. “AJ” is a descent boxer and concussive puncher with either hand, and the general consensus is that he will be just too big and powerful for his opponent.

However, Usyk is very strong defensively and when he has been tagged has shown a great chin. Because of his skillset, fast hands, footwork and renowned single-mindedness, I’m backing Oleksandr Usyk to pull off a monumental upset and outpoint Anthony Joshua in August.

  • Joshua two-time heavyweight champ 
  • Joshua 24-1, 22 KO’s 
  • Usyk former undisputed 200 lb champ 
  • Usyk 18-0, 13 KOs

Head to Head

This will be the first time that Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk share a ring, either as professionals, amateurs or sparring partners. Physically, while both are heavyweights, there will be a substantial size difference on fight night; Joshua is one of the biggest heavyweight champions of all time at 6’6” and around 240 lbs, with an 82” reach. Usyk is 6’3”and scaled 217 lbs for his win over Derek Chisora last October. If Usyk feels he can carry more weight and still work at a fast-paced, he may be heavier a little heavier in August, but not much. 

While Joshua would seem to have a slight edge over Usyk in terms of professional experience, as amateurs they were miles apart. While both men were Olympic gold medalists at London 2012, that’s where the similarity ends. 

Usyk was 335-15 as an amateur, and as well as winning Olympic gold at heavyweight he was a two-time European Champion and a World Amateur Champion. Joshua had an amateur record of 48-3, and in addition to his superheavyweight Olympic gold medal, he was also a silver medalist of the 2011 World Amateur Championships.

Anthony Joshua Form

31-year old Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22 KO’s) is – by his own admission - still a work in progress. It could be said that losing to Andy Ruiz in June 2019 was the best thing that could have happened to Joshua. Although no fighter likes to suffer four knockdowns and lose via a stoppage, Joshua has analyzed his defeat and become a far better fighter because of it. He was somewhat overly cautious in his rematch with Ruiz later that year when he won a one-sided unanimous decision to regain his titles. 

However in his next fight against IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev last December, Joshua displayed what could be the perfect blend of defensive nous allied to explosive power. AJ bided his time against the dangerous Bulgarian, almost ending the fight in the third round with two knockdowns but backing off and then applying the “coup de grace” in the ninth. While nowhere near as cautious as his friend and former rival Wladimir Klitschko, Joshua would seem to have taken a little of the great Ukrainian’s “safety-first” mentality on board, and it may lengthen his career. 

Oleksandr Usyk Form

34-year old Oleksandr Usyk (18-0, 13 KO’s) is great friends with Vasyl Lomachenko, and prior to moving up to heavyweight was trained by Loma’s father Anatoly. Like Lomachenko, Usyk is supremely talented, and honed that talent with an extensive and highly successful amateur career. Again like Loma, Usyk has been fast tracked as a professional, defeating the previously unbeaten Krzysztof Glowacki for the WBO cruiserweight title in his 12th fight, and becoming undisputed 200 lb champion five fights later in 2018 by outpointing Murat Gassiev. 

After knocking out Tony Bellew in eight rounds in 2018, Usyk made the move to heavyweight, stopping one-time fringe contender Chazz Witherspoon in seven rounds in 2019, and in October last year he outpointed Britain’s Dereck Chisora. Usyk had his hands full with the bull-like Chisora, and the fight was mighty close on two cards. While Usyk was criticized for failing to get rid of Chisora, the reality was in only his second fight at heavyweight he defeated one of the toughest men in the decision with minimal damage to himself.

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk FAQ

When is the Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk fight taking place?

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk takes place at 7:00 AM (AEDT) on Saturday, August 21

Where is Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk taking place?

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk will take place at an as yet unspecified site in the UK



Anthony Joshua is currently a 4/11 favorite to defeat Oleksandr Usyk in August, with Usyk at 2/1 to win, although those odds could lengthen or shorten come fight night.

Because off Joshua’s limitations as a boxer and Usyk’s undoubted boxing skills, hand speed and clever footwork, plus the Ukrainian’s intense “Cossack” mentality of self-belief and desire, I’m backing Oleksandr Usyk to pull off the biggest upset in boxing in 2021 and hand Anthony Joshua the second defeat of his pro career via a points decision.
Best Bet: Usyk Winner @200.00 at bet365 Australia - 1 Unit
Best Bet: Usyk by pts decision Method Of Victory @275.00 at bet365 Australia - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Yes Will Fight Go The Distance? @110.00 at bet365 Australia - 1 Unit

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Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk