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Anthony Joshua wins ugly against Usyk says Andre Ward

Anthony Joshua, Andre Ward, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

By Chris Williams: Andre Ward predicts an “ugly” win over challenger Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th in their much-anticipated fight at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in North London England.

Ward says he’s changed his mind several times about who will win the Joshua vs. Usyk fight, but right now, he’s leaning in the direction of the bigger, stronger guy in IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion AJ.

While the former super middleweight champion Ward is impressed with Usyk’s movement and boxing ability, he feels that Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) will be too big and strong.

Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) does have the potential to win the fight, says Ward, but  Joshua will find a way to grind out the victory.

It’s one of those fights where Joshua, 31, will be punished each time he makes a mistake in the early going.

Usyk has the type of skills where he’s on you immediately when you slip up, and Joshua is still too flawed not to make many mistakes. Maybe if Joshua had an excellent trainer like Virgil Hunter, Ward’s old coach, he wouldn’t be as mistake-prone as he is now.

Joshua wins ugly

“It’s a tough fight to call. Some days, I feel like Anthony Joshua is going to go out there and be too big, too strong, and Usyk will have moments, but they won’t be enough,” said Andre Ward to ESPN on the Joshua vs. Usyk fight.

Anthony Joshua, Andre Ward, Oleksandr Usyk boxing photo

“Other days, I feel like Usyk with his movement and his boxing ability, even though he’s a blown-up heavyweight, he’s not a natural heavyweight.

“He’ll still find a way to make things frustrating for Anthony Joshua where he’s missing, and he’s countering, and I can see where he’s out-box Joshua.

“But today, I feel like Anthony Joshua will win this fight, and I feel like it’ll be in an ugly fashion. I don’t think there’s a pretty way for Anthony Joshua to win this fight unless Usyk gets tired, neglects defense, and gets caught with a big shot.

“I see Joshua having a stylistic nightmare early in the fight, and then clawing his way back into the fight and finding a way to land just enough punches and outwork Usyk just enough to win an ugly decision and maybe even a controversial decision.

“It’s a very difficult fight to call, and it’s not a forgone conclusion that Joshua is going to win.  But today, I’m leaning towards Anthony Joshua,” said Ward.

There’s nothing wrong with Joshua winning an ugly decision on September 25th. Just as long as AJ wins, that’s the most critical part.

As long as Joshua doesn’t leave himself open while shooting for a knockout, he should win this fight relatively easily.

It might be boring for Joshua to play it safe against Usyk, but he’s got to fight that way because of his poor punch resistance and terrible stamina problems.

AJ is too big, too strong for Usyk

“Well, I am confident, guys, and I’m saying Joshua is knocking Usyk out,” said Mike Coppinger.

“I was not impressed with how Usyk looked in either of his two fights against a journeyman in Chazz Witherspoon and against a better fighter in Derek Chisora.

“He’s [Usyk] not a heavyweight, in my opinion. He doesn’t have the heavyweight punch, he doesn’t have the heavyweight strength, and he does not have the heavyweight size.

“Joshua is proven in there. He avenged his loss to Andy Ruiz. He has the resume, and he has the experience. Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Dillian Whyte.

He’s too big, too strong, and let’s not forget that Deontay Wilder is the biggest puncher in boxing, but Joshua is right behind him.

“I think Joshua is going to catch Usyk on the end of one of those punches and knock him out,” said Coppinger.

It might be next to impossible for Usyk to win this fight unless Joshua gets wild in there and leaves himself open to being countered.

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