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Joshua vs Usyk - Sep 25 🥊 🇬🇧


wandshogun09
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Who wins and how?   

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This one’s fast approaching. Less than 2 weeks away now.

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SKY BOX OFFICE
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk - WBA, IBF, WBO & IBO Heavyweight Titles

Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic - WBO Cruiserweight Title

Callum Smith vs Lenin Castillo

Campbell Hatton vs Izan Dura

Maxim Prodan vs Florian Marku

Christopher Ousley vs Khasan Baysangurov

 

Not the strongest of undercards, especially when they want fucking £24.95 for it. But it’s all about that main event. Sky coverage kicks off at 6pm as best I can tell. 

 

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Joshua vs Usyk then. Very interesting fight but there seems to be little to no buzz about it considering how close the fight is now. I think the fact that it seemed like we were finally on the verge of getting that AJ vs Fury fight on only for it to fall apart yet again has put a bit of a downer on the Heavyweight scene as a whole, to be honest. There’s been more enthusiasm for Joshua’s fights against much lesser opponents than Usyk in the past, at least from what I’ve seen anyway. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places but that’s kind of my point. If there was real genuine excitement around this fight, I wouldn’t have to go looking for it. Regardless, it’s a good one. I’m as disappointed as anyone that Joshua vs Fury seems like it’s destined to never happen but fuck concentrating on that mess. This fight is actually happening.

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Joshua is 24-1 now, with 22 inside the distance. Wins over Wladimir Klitschko, Andy Ruiz, Alexander Povetkin, Joseph Parker, Dillian Whyte etc. With the exception of that one disastrous night against Ruiz in their first fight in 2019, he’s had quite a run. We last saw him in December, stopping a game but weathered Kubrat Pulev in the 9th in London. 

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He’s a weird one AJ. In some circles I think he’s been overrated. It cooled off after the loss to Ruiz but there was a spell there when the hype was getting silly with people acting like he was unbeatable and stuff. Even when he was unbeaten he’d shown vulnerabilities in a few of his fights. But sometimes I think it swings too far the other way and you’ll get those fans who want to continuously shit on anything he does or says. Usually out of allegiance to Fury or Wilder. He’s a very, very good Heavyweight. Where he sits in the pecking order of that top 3 alongside Fury and Wilder is up for debate. And fuck me has it been debated? To within an inch of its life. Personally I’m pretty sure he loses to Fury. And as time goes on I’m thinking more that Wilder clips him too. But obviously we need to see these fights to answer these questions. It’s fucking tiresome now. And anyway, there’s a new player in the mix…

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Usyk is undefeated as a pro. 18-0 with 13 knockouts. One of the best Cruiserweights there’s ever been. Smashed the World Boxing Super Series in 2017/18, beating Murat Gassiev in the finals to solidify himself as the man and clean up on the belts. He still wasn’t very well known to casual Boxing fans at this point though. I remember when he was matched up with Tony Bellew in late 2018, people at work were acting like Bellew was gonna crush him. Sky Sports hype is real. Bellew was close to retiring anyway and the style was a bad one for him but those David Haye wins had a lot of people convinced Bellew had it in the bag. 

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Despite all his previous achievements, this was Usyk’s coming out party. A big finish like that, over a name like Bellew, in a heavily featured headliner on Sky. It was all he’d been missing. One of the best things about this was that him getting more media attention allowed more people to see his personality. He’s a weird bastard but a very likeable weird bastard. 

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There was nothing left to do at Cruiserweight. He’d won all the gold and had that big knockout against Bellew. The money fights for him were all up at Heavyweight. He moved up and beat Chazz Witherspoon in 7 rounds in his HW debut. Nothing spectacular and if I recall right I think a lot of people were actually saying he looked a bit cack. I barely remember that fight. In his next fight last October, he outpointed Dereck Chisora. He won comfortably. I don’t think I had Delboy winning more than 3 rounds. But it was another one of those performances that didn’t blow anyone away and still left doubts on how far Usyk can go at Heavyweight. Maybe that’s a bigger part of the lack of enthusiasm for this fight than I’ve given it credit for actually. 

Still, I’m really looking forward to this fight. It’s a big step up for Usyk compared to his first couple of fights at HW. But also, style-wise it’s a completely different kind of test for Joshua. The jury is still out on Usyk at Heavyweight for me. He’s got the skills to give pretty much anyone problems but I’ve always felt that there’s gonna come a point where him giving up size will become more of an issue. But this fight really intrigues me because we haven’t seen AJ up against anyone with the box of tricks Usyk has. Both won gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Usyk at Heavyweight, AJ at Super-Heavyweight. It’s a cool fight. 

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Yes.

You just know AJ vs Fury is gonna properly go tits up. Either Usyk will box circles around Joshua here, or Wilder will iron out Fury in October. Or maybe both. That fight hinging on wins over Usyk and Wilder just feels like a recipe for another disappointment.

Can’t be arsed to go into the undercard. It’s there. Might be alright but nothing is jumping out at me. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Few days away then...

Ive been leaning towards Usyk since its been announced. I think a lot of folk this is a bit of a knockover for AJ based on Usyk's performance against Chisora. I dont believe thats the case, Usyk got over a pretty tough hill in Chisora whos probably one of the harder fights in the division for an undersized heavyweight. AJ isnt gonna be a marauding brawler like Chisora, this thing is likely going to turn into a chess match, and thats a match i see Usyk winning. I woudnt at all be surprised to see Usyk hurt Joshua either, he's not a dynamite puncher but he's accurate and if he hits Joshua on the button, he'll hurt him, especially if Joshua fades.

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The size difference isn't as much as people are making out, either. Joshua is 6'6 and Usyk is 6'3. 

By comparison, Chisora is 6'2, Pulev is 6'4, Joseph Parker is 6'4, and Povetkin is 6'2. I know many of those guys are heavier than Usyk, but let's be honest, it's because they carry a bit of fat around the middle most of the time.

Usyk looks lean and is far more mobile than most of them. I think if he catches Joshua clean on the chin it could be game over. We've seen that happen before.

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If I had to choose how I want the fight to end, it would be Joshua by devastating stoppage in the 3rd or 4th. Then we have Fury absolutely starch Wilder and enjoy the heavyweight fight of the century between Joshua and Fury, with a cheeky little rematch clause thrown in as well.

Best two out of three.

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That’s the ideal scenario Dave yeah. But whether I’m just being pessimistic or what, I’ve got a feeling at least one of these fights is gonna mess it up. As banana skins in the path of a mega fight go, Usyk and Wilder are about as risky as it gets in the current Heavyweight landscape. 

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This was after the weigh in. 

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Quite refreshing actually to have a big Heavyweight fight that’s just a great fight with no beef or forced trash talk. Yeah that’s always good for hype but you can’t have it every single time or it gets old fast. There’ll be plenty of shit talking when Fury vs Wilder 3 fight week is upon us in a few weeks. And no doubt if Joshua wins and faces either Fury or Wilder next it’ll be all fun and games at the press conferences and stuff. Usyk’s different though. This one’s more just about the fight itself being interesting than anything else, although Usyk definitely makes it fun in his own way. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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On 9/23/2021 at 5:14 PM, Gooner said:

I don't even care that the undercard looks extremely average. 

the undercard isnt the best, but theres some interesting stuff in there.

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* Okolie/Prasovic seems to be a routine mandatory defence for Okolie. Prasovic has a nice 15-0 record but this should be straight forward. 

* Smith/Castillo is very much a fight for Smith to get his feet wet at Light Heavy. Expect Smith to win comfortably but Castillo has never been stopped and has gone the distance with Bivol recently.

* Hatton/Martinez could be interesting. Its Hatton's first 6 rounder and Martinez is a late replacement. Talk on Twitter is that Martinez could win this, he's got a 2-4 record but people seem to think Hatton may struggle. Bookies still have Hatton as a 1/20 favorite. I believe he was 1/50 over the original opponent.

* Prodan/Marku is the best fight on the card outside of the main event. Again, like the Hatton fight, alot of people are sensing an upset. Marku is a smaller Alen Babic, just an aggressive brawler who talks mad shit. Cant forget he drew with a journeyman 2 fights ago. Prodan is 19-0-1, hits hard and also likes to brawl, he's mixed it at a better level than Marku too. This could be good. Prodan is 4/1 and ive stuck him on my acca.

* Ousley/Baysangurov seems like a showcase for Ousley on paper. Hes an American signed to AJ's managment group. He was the underdog on paper earlier in the week but that's been shorted, its a straight pick um now.

It aint bad.

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