Anthony Joshua will knock out Oleksandr Usyk – predicts Eddie Hearn

By Boxing News - 09/24/2021 - Comments

By William Lloyd: Eddie Hearn predicts a knockout victory for Anthony Joshua when he defends against Oleksandr Usyk this Saturday in front of 70,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.

Hearn is quite pleased with how Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) looked in weighing in at 240 lbs earlier on Friday at the weigh-in for his defense against WBO mandatory Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs).

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Usyk weighed in at 221 1/4 lbs and looked a little chunky around the middle.

One can tell that not all the weight that the former undisputed cruiserweight champion 34-year-old Usyk added to his frame since last October was in the form of muscle.

A knockout victory for Joshua would be HUGE, increasing his popularity worldwide and setting the table for him to face the October 9th Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III winner.

Oleksandr planning on being undisputed

Usyk is not dreaming of becoming undisputed. He is planning it,” said promoter Alexander Krassyuk to Sky Sports. “The Fury fight has never been under discussion.”

Image: Anthony Joshua will knock out Oleksandr Usyk - predicts Eddie Hearn

“Of course, it’s the same thing into my heart that’s left in me,” said Usyk to Sky Sports. “If it wouldn’t be, I wouldn’t be doing it.”

“AJ is the bigger guy. It’s a tremendous fight. Unified heavyweight champion against the former undisputed cruiserweight world champion,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. “Usyk looks fearless. We’ll see how fearless he is tomorrow night in front of 70,000 Brits.

“He’s got a put a dent in this guy early. Beat him up and then knock him out. It’s a big statement for British boxing on Saturday to say that we are back.

“We know the achievements of Oleksandr Usyk, the undisputed cruiserweight champion. He’s unbeaten, and he’s gone to everybody’s backyard and beaten them,” said Hearn to Good Morning Britain.

“This is a real test. Anthony Joshua, it’s been three years since he’s boxed in front of a crowd like this. Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium the last time around,” said Hearn.

Usyk isn’t a dreamer like some fighters, and he’s been working hard planning on beating Joshua and then the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder winner to become the undisputed champion.

For Usyk, it won’t be as quick to get to the undisputed championship as it would be for Joshua. If Usyk wins on Saturday, it’s a certainty that Hearn will set up a rematch right away with Joshua.

They’re not going to let Usyk walk away from the win and face the Fury-Wilder winner without attempting to avenge the loss.

So for Usyk to fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship, he’ll have to beat Joshua TWICE, and that’s not going to be easy to do unless he knocks him out.

Hearn predicts knock out for Joshua

“There were bundles of nerves to bring boxing back,” said Hearn on the Joshua vs. Usyk fight. “This is the focal point for boxing this weekend.

“We want the undisputed championship, and Saturday night is a tough night for a guy that will fight anyone in Anthony Joshua.

“His last 12 fights, it’s an incredible resume, and he’s consistently fought the best in the division. I think this is his toughest test this Saturday.

“Hundreds of amateur fights, and both won gold in London games. Usyk has gone into the backyard of all the champions and dethroned them.

“Even talking about it makes me nervous, and they’ll be facing off inside this ring. He [Joshua] does have the bigger reach, he does punch harder, and he’s faster as well.

“Usyk is going to be trying to use his feet to maneuver around him. I think the first three or four rounds are going to be quite cagey, but I want to see Anthony put a dent in Usyk early in this fight.

“Anywhere, the body, the shoulders, the side of the head. Just lay there on him and show him your speed and power.

Image: Anthony Joshua will knock out Oleksandr Usyk - predicts Eddie Hearn

“I believe Anthony Joshua will win this fight by knockout. I believe there will be some scary moments. And I believe we may even get another Klitschko-style fight on Saturday night.

“It’s the best against the best—the unified heavyweight champion [Joshua] against the undisputed cruiserweight [Usyk].

“It’s a tremendous match-up, and we’ve got everything crossed for AJ on Saturday,” said Hearn.

For Joshua to get the knockout on Saturday would be a massive accomplishment because Usyk hasn’t lost since he was an amateur many years ago.

The danger for Joshua in going for a knockout against Usyk is he could run out of gas if he goes all out trying to stop him.

It would be a mistake for Joshua to fade against Usyk because he’ll take advantage of the situation and score a knockout himself.

Joshua wants Fury vs. Wilder 3 winner

“He just wants to be undisputed champion,” said Hearn when asked if Joshua has a preference for who wins the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder fight on October 9th. “So whoever wins that fight as a Brit, we hope Tyson Fury does the business.

“I don’t think he’s [Fury] as well prepared as he was for the second fight, but I still think he has more than enough ability to beat Deontay Wilder. Fingers crossed for an AJ win tomorrow night.

“Fingers crossed for a Tyson Fury win, and then we can see the undisputed fight in early 2022.

“I know Tyson Fury would want to fight Anthony Joshua,” said Hearn. “I know it’s all Anthony Joshua wants. If there’s any common sense, we revisit that [the previous contract between Joshua and Fury for August in Saudi Arabia] and get it done.

“Both have tough fights coming up. You can’t take anything for granted in boxing, particularly heavyweight boxing. For Anthony, as I said, when he walked into our office eight years ago, the dream was always to be undisputed.

“So this is a legacy fight for him on Saturday night. If he can come through here and become undisputed, he goes down as being one of the greatest heavyweights of all time,” said Hearn.

Should Joshua get through Saturday’s fight with Usyk, he and Hearn will be sitting and waiting on the outcome of WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s October 9th trilogy against Deontay Wilder.

The way that Fury has jetting around the world since his victory over Wilder last year, he may not be in the same type of shape he was in their rematch

. With Fury having lost the edge and Wilder working harder than ever before with new trainer Malik Scott, you can’t rule out a victory for ‘The Bronze Bomber.’

It’s good that Joshua’s primary focus is becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion.

As long as his main concern is winning the WBC title irrespective of who he faces, he won’t mind potentially fighting Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) for the belt rather than Fury.

The money might not be as good for Joshua, but at least he’ll get a chance to become the undisputed champion.

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