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Usyk not pleased with Joshua’s performance against Povetkin

Aleksandr Usyk Alexander Povetkin Anthony Joshua Tony Bellew

By Scott Gilfoid: Oleksandr Usyk saw IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s fight against Alexander Povetkin last weekend, and he said he didn’t like the punishment he took in winning he fight by a 7th round knockout.

Usyk (15-0, 11 KOs) said he liked Joshua’s strategy during the fight, but the head shots that he was getting hit with by the 39-year-old Povetkin (34-2, 24 KOs) were troubling. He expected Joshua to win in a more impressive manner than he did. Povetkin hurt Joshua in the 1st round with a right hand. Joshua’s nose was broken in the 1st round, and he took punishment all the 7th.

“I like the strategy he had, but what I didn’t like was a couple of punches he took to his head. That’s a really dangerous way to get a victory,” Usyk said about Joshua.

Usyk is a much more technical fighter than Joshua will ever be. We’re talking about a fighter that has been boxing his entire like in Ukraine in comparison to someone that took up the sport later, and didn’t have the longest amateur career before turning pro in Joshua. The difference between Usyk and Joshua’s boxing pedigree is huge. Usyk captured a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics by dominating his opposition. Joshua’s gold medal in the 2012 Olympics was controversial with him winning three very, very questionable decisions against Erislandy Savon, Roberto Cammarelle and Ivan Dychko.

You can understand Usyk’s concern for Joshua. It’s in Usyk’s best interest for Joshua to stay unbeaten long enough for him to face him in the future once he gets passed Tony Bellew (30-2-1, 20 KOs) in their fight in two months on November 10 on Sky Box Office and DAZN at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Usyk, 31, doesn’t like Bellew referring to him as a “Superstar,” as he feels he’s more of a simple boxer. However, Usyk says that if Bellew plans on playing games on November 10 in their fight, he’s going o need to play by his rules and not the other way around.

“I am not a superstar, Tony. I’m a boxer,” Usyk said to IFL TV. “He plays the game by my rules. How can he determine whether I have the power punch or not? I’m not thinking about it at all,” Usyk said about Bellew’s power.

Bellew, 35, says that Usyk doesn’t have the same one-punch power that he possesses, and if he lands one of his big shots, it’s game over. However, Usyk has already beaten a number of fighters with better punching power than Bellew, and those fighters landed their best shots against him but they were unable to hurt him. I’m talking about Murat Gassiev, Marco Huck and Mairis Brieids. Even Michael Hunter might have better power than Bellew, and Usyk took his best power shots. These are all natural cruiserweights. They’re no pumped up light heavyweights like Bellew, who has fought most of his 11-year pro career at 175.

“Dillian Whyte, Dereck Chisora, Deontay Wilder [and] Tyson Fury,” Usyk said when asked who he wants to fight at heavyweight in the future besides Anthony Joshua. “50-50,” Usyk said when asked who wins the Wilder vs. Fury fight. “How can I pick the winner? Two crazy men in the ring. It’s impossible.”

What Usyk might not know is he’s likely going to need to beat Dillian Whyte or Dereck Chisora before he can get a fight against Anthony Joshua in the future. Hearn isn’t going to just match Usyk against Joshua after he takes care of retiring Bellew on November 10. That’s just the beginning for Usyk. He’s likely going to need to run a gauntlet of Hearn’s Machroom Boxing sable fighters before he eventually puts him in with Joshua. In facing Hearn’s fighters in his stable, Usyk would be helping them out by incrasing their popularity while at the same time building up a future fight against Joshua. Whyte is the guy that Hearn will definitely be matching Usyk against in the near future. Of course, needs to beat Dereck Chisora on December 22 for him to be a viable opponent for Usyk to fight. No one will care if Usyk faces Whyte if he’s coming off a loss to Chisora.

“I think I’m crazy a little bit,” Usyk said.

Usyk seems so friendly and harmless outside of the ring. The way that Usyk comes across as so humble outside of the ring, it’s easy to understand why Bellew is doubting him. If Usyk was more of a monster when not fighting, he might have Bellew shivering in his boots about what he’s stepping into on November 10. It doesn’t matter though. Bellew is up against in this fight. Usyk is going to work him over and likely knock him out on the night. If Bellew is able to go the full 12 rounds, he’s going to take a career’s worth of punishment in the fight to go the distance. For Bellew’s sake, he might be better to take a knee and quit rather than being battered into submission.

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