Oleksandr Usyk = dangerous fight for Joshua says Malik Scott
By Charles Brun: Anthony Joshua better thinks long and hard before he goes through with his idea of facing Oleksandr Usyk in September because he could be sorry for it later. Deontay Wilder’s coach Malik Scott sees the former cruiserweight champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) as a dangerous fight not only for Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) but also the other top heavyweights in the division.
We already saw Joshua pay a steep price for his overconfidence when the tubby Andy Ruiz Jr knocked him out in 2019, a loss that prevented him from fighting WBC champion Deontay that year.
Instead of facing Wilder for the undisputed championship, Joshua was stuck fighting Ruiz a second time later in the year.
When is Joshua going to realize that he’s not as good as he thinks he is? To be sure, Joshua has power, size, and speed to give any heavyweight problems, but his chin and his stamina are that of a lower-level fighter.
Joshua doesn’t take a good punch at all, and we’ve seen that displayed countless times.
Heck, the only reason Joshua hasn’t been knocked out many times already is that his offense saves him. In other words, Joshua can knock out his opponents before they get to his weak chin to stop him.
AJ’s ego isn’t in tune with his poor stamina and punch resistance, and both could cost him when or if he goes through with the foolish idea of defending his WBO strap against mandatory Usyk in September.
Joshua is blabbering about being a “throwback fighter,” whatever that means, and he comes across as a guy that doesn’t have a full grasp of his own flaws.
If Joshua were a true throwback fighter, he would have been toughing it out, fighting six to ten fights per year, taking on guys like Filip Hrgovic, Luis Ortiz, Dillian Whyte, Deontay, Frank Sanchez, Joe Joyce, and Tony Yoka.
Charles Brun sees Joshua as more of the type of fighter spoonfed opposition that has been carefully selected for him after being put under a microscope by his management first to determine if they’re dangerous.
“None. I fear none of them,” said Joshua to Sky Sports when asked about the dangers Usyk presents for him.
See what I mean. Joshua has no idea what he’s getting himself into by choosing to steer his ship in the direction of the hungry bear Usyk.
It would be easy for Joshua to vacate the WBO trinket and then wait for the dust to clear from next months’ Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury III trilogy match on July 24th.
This is where Eddie Hearn could play a big part in guiding Joshua to safer waters.
He needs to sit down with the 6’6″ AJ and impress upon him how risky the fight with Usyk is and the little he stands to gain by taking this fight.
Earlier this week, Joshua sounded delusional in saying that he’ll make the Fury fight bigger by beating Usyk. No, he won’t.
The fight won’t be bigger because the casuals have no clue who Usyk is, and they won’t give a fig if Joshua beats him.
“Usyk is a dangerous fight for anybody, not just Joshua,” said Malik Scott to Sky Sports. “You have to commend Joshua for taking him on. Usyk is not a guy everybody is trying to fight – he is a guy that people would prefer not to fight.
“Usyk is learning on the job against the most dangerous guys,” Malik continued. “He didn’t go on a seven-fight plan. This is his third fight at heavyweight. That’s a big climb.
“It will be interesting how Usyk responds to Joshua’s size and technicalities and how Joshua responds to Usyk’s speed as a southpaw,” said Scott.
With Usyk’s superb stamina, crafty style of fighting, and southpaw stance, there’s an excellent chance that he’s going to topple Joshua’s short reign as the IBF/WBA/WBO champion.
What that means is that instead of Joshua progressing forward to fight the Fury-Wilder 3 winner in December, he’ll be trapped facing Usyk later this year, but this time his career will be hanging by a thread.
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