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Joshua: ‘Chisora will give Usyk problems’

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Derek Chisora

By Charles Brun: After sparring with Dereck Chisora, Anthony Joshua is certain that he’s going to give cruiserweight Oleksandr Usyk a lot of problems in their upcoming May 23 fight. Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) and Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) are still on track to fight in May on Sky Sports Box Office at the O2 Arena in London, UK.

Joshua used Chisora to help him prepare for his December 7 rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr. last year, and he was impressed with the strength of Delboy. AJ, who is a big puncher, had a hard time trying to keep Chisora off of him during the sparring sessions.

Usyk won’t be able to keep Chisora off

Joshua believes that Usyk may have a difficult time trying to keep Chisora at bay no matter how much movement he uses. Usyk is always on his back foot, which further takes away what little power that he has. When he does stop to throw punches, he shoeshines and gets hit.

The style that Usyk employs worked for him as an amateur, as the judges in that sport are more impressed with landing shots than they are with power. In the professional ranks, Usyk still uses his amateur style and it’s worked for him against arguably less talented fighters that permeate the cruiserweight division.

Usyk-Chisora is still scheduled for May 23, but promoter Eddie Hearn stated this week that the fight could be postponed. He’s going to be making that decision in the next two weeks. If the Usyk vs. Chisora fight does need to be rescheduled, it’ll likely be for July.

It’s debatable whether one month will make that much of a difference, however. Some believe the coronavirus will stop all boxing for the remainder of 2020 unless the promoters take their cards behind closed doors. Hearn will need to work that out with the British Boxing Board of Control before that can happen.

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Derek Chisora

Usyk with no experience at heavyweight

The World Boxing Organization has done Usyk no favors by giving him the WBO mandatory position at heavyweight without him needing to earn the spot like everyone else.

The WBO gave Usyk the mandatory based on him being their former cruiserweight champion. Some boxing fans think it’s a stupid rule the WBO has because it allows champions to move up and fight for an immediate world title without having to prove themselves.

Moreover, it’s potentially risky given that you get fighters that have never fought in a weight class all of a sudden fighting a world champion in their debut in the division. It doesn’t matter if that fighter was a former world champion. Moving up to a new weight class and taking on a world champion straightaway is risky.

Given that Usyk looked horrible against Tony Bellew in his last fight against a quality opponent in November 2018, it could end badly for him when he gets in there with the 245-lb Chisora on May 23 or whenever this contest takes place.

Chisora will have a power advantage

Usyk’s lack of punching power means that Chisora won’t have any fear of walking straight in, and nailing him with shots. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk does move well, but he’s not shown the ability to move for 12 rounds, and he also has no experience against quality heavyweights.

Usyk has been rushed into the fight with Chisora with his only experience in the division being against 38-year-old Chazz Witherspoon, a fighter who was 10 years past his prime when he fought Oleksandr. Those two fought last October, and Usyk stopped him in the 7th round.

“The Chisora from the two fights against Dillian will give Usyk problems,” Joshua said to skysports.coms “I watched the Chisora versus Price fight – I thought: ‘why isn’t Price controlling Chisora?’ Then I sparred Chisora.

“The guy is strong, you know. He is no joke. And I give Dillian credit for dealing with him twice. To control Chisora over 12 or 11 rounds takes some doing.”

Against Bellew, Usyk was getting lit up each time he tried to exchange with him. If not for Bellew gassing out in the 8th, Usyk would have likely lost the fight. At the time of the stoppage, Bellew was ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards by the scores 67-66, 68-65, and the third judge had it even at 67-67.

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