Froch: Anthony Joshua isn’t worried about Oleksandr Usyk

By Boxing News - 10/29/2020 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Anthony Joshua isn’t losing any sleep over worrying about a future fight against former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, according to Carl Froch.

He says the much bigger IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) is too big for the 6’3″, 215-pound Usyk for him to be concerned about.

Froch wants to see how Usyk (17-0, 13 KOs) performs this weekend against Dereck Chisora (32-9, 23 KOs) before he can make an accurate prediction on a Joshua-Usyk contest in the distant future.

Usyk is the WBO mandatory challenger to Joshua, which normally would mean that he would get his title shot in 2021, but that’s not happening because AJ has other plans.

Joshua will be facing WBC champion Tyson Fury twice next year, and he’s not going to let the less popular Usyk get in the way of either of those two fights with ‘The Gypsy King.’

Froch views Usyk as a non-threat to AJ

“I don’t think AJ will be worried [about Usyk],” Froch told Sky Sports: “He will be watching him, probably thinking to himself, ‘He’s not big enough for me. I’ve got size and reach.’ He’ll be quietly confident, AJ.

Image: Froch: Anthony Joshua isn't worried about Oleksandr Usyk

“I really do think that AJ has got nothing to worry about in Usyk. I need to see how well Usyk performs against Chisora, before I can even mention him in the same breath as AJ,” said Carl.

The Usyk that boxing fans saw beating Tony Bellew, Michael Hunter, Mairis Briedis, and Chazz Witherspoon would be in a world of hurt against the 6’6″ Joshua right now. Usyk won all those fights, but he didn’t dominate any of them.

If Joshua fought all of those guys, he’d likely destroy all of them and look impressive doing so. Usyk does have great technical boxing skills, but those things only carry a fighter so far.

Joshua is more of a super heavyweight, and Usyk arguably belongs at super cruiserweight, the new division that the World Boxing Council is about to introduce.

Joshua not concerned with Usyk

“I’m not giving him any credibility at heavyweight yet, because I’ve not seen anything,” Froch said of the 33-year-old Oleksandr.

“Joshua is not worried about going in there with someone who’s as big and strong as him, who is going to back him up and try to knock him out.

“If there’s any concern there, he’s more going to be concerned about this technical ability of Usyk and the fact that it might be a bit of a stand-off,” said Froch.

Image: Froch: Anthony Joshua isn't worried about Oleksandr Usyk

Usyk isn’t as well equipped to fight against the giant heavyweights like Joshua and Tyson Fury the way that Evander Holyfield was when he transitioned from cruiserweight to heavyweight in the 1980s.

The boxing fans that didn’t see how talented Holyfield was when he fought at cruiserweight would likely view Usyk as a better fighter than him.

Holyfield was a much better-suited fighter for the heavyweight division than Usyk, who can’t punch and doesn’t throw combinations the way Holyfield did.