Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk
September 25, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Oleksandr Usyk +210 / Anthony Joshua -250
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Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk meet Saturday in a boxing match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the World Boxing Association Super World Heavy Title. Joshua enters this fight with a 24-1 record that includes 22 knockouts. Usyk enters this fight with a 18-0 record that includes 13 knockouts.
Joshua has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off a December win over Kubrat Pulev. Joshua is now 2-0 since his first loss to Andy Ruiz Jr., and he’s fresh off a ninth round knockout in his last bout. Joshua dropped his opponent multiple times and landed countless uppercuts to close the deal and defend his belt. Joshua is nearly 32 years old, stands at 6’6”, has an 82-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Joshua has the footwork, movement and hand speed that separates him from a lot of this division. While everybody at heavyweight has power, Joshua is extremely fluid with his movement and puts combinations together with surprisingly quick hands. Joshua has great technique, doesn’t take a beating and picks his spots smartly rather than loading up and going for the knockout. Joshua is very disciplined and usually takes full advantage when that opening is created. However, some aren’t as high on Joshua as they once were and it’s key he starts stringing some of these wins together. This will be Joshua’s 20th career fight in England.
This will be Usyk’s third fight since 2019, and he’s coming off a October win over Dereck Chisora. Usyk is coming off a competitive fight that went the distance and he’s slowed down his workload as of late. Usyk will fight for the first time in nearly a year, as he’s somebody who usually fought twice a year. Usyk is a 34-year-old southpaw who stands at 6’3” and has a 78-inch reach. Usyk is most known for his punching power and hard shots to the body, but the movement for a guy this big is what separates him from the rest of the division. Usyk moves well with his punches and bobs and weaves counters that allow him to be even more effective with his combinations. Usyk’s variety of punches along with his overwhelming pop is tough to deal with, as he hits like a heavyweight and has knocked out three of his last six opponents. Usyk has also shown his conditioning is up to par, as he’s gone the distance with some quality fighters. This will be Usyk’s third career fight in England.
This is a massive test for both of these fighters and you could make a case for either side. With that said, Joshua has a clear size and reach advantage, and Usyk isn’t fighting at his usual weight. Joshua should be able to control this fight as the bigger, stronger fighter and being able to fight from the outside will be key. Usyk is a tricky southpaw and it may take some time to get his timing down, but Joshua should be able to pick things up in the middle rounds and catch his opponent with something hard.
Give me Joshua by stoppage.