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Johnathon Banks previews Joshua vs. Usyk, Fury vs. Wilder 3

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

By Jim Maltzman: Trainer Johnathon Banks foresees the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 clashes as ones that could go either way.

Like most, Banks is siding with the favorites, Joshua and Fury, to win their respective fights, but he can’t rule out Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) or Wilder winning.

Not surprisingly, Banks is giving IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) the edge over the smaller unproven former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk in their fight on September 25th.

Banks notes that the 6’6″, 240+ lb Joshua has the size, power, and the experience advantage at heavyweight over Usyk, who has only fought twice in the division since removing up from cruiserweight.

In the case of the Fury-Wilder trilogy match on October 9th, Banks feels that Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) has the edge because he has the more proven trainer in SugarHill Steward than Deontay’s new coach Malik Scott.

Moreover, Banks feels that Fury dominated Wilder in their first two fights, showing better boxing skills. With that said, Banks believes that Wilder’s right-hand equalizer could nullify all the advantages Fury has in skills, size, and coaching.

If Wilder can land that right hand at any moment in the fight, he could put Fury to sleep and win. There won’t be anything Fury or his excellent coach SugarHill will be able to do about it.

Fury lucked out in the last fight to avoid Wilder’s right hand to get a seventh round knockout win.

Some of that had to do with the shot Fury hit Wilder with behind the back of his head in round three, which took his legs, balance, and power away from him for the remainder of the fight. Would Fury have won if he’d not hit Wilder with that foul shot? It’s impossible to know.

Usyk can cause Joshua problems

“Now you’re talking about Usyk – Joshua. Both are [Olympic] gold medalists, so neither one is underestimated,” said Johnathon Banks to TheRingDigital. “Usyk is coming to a division that he hasn’t had a lot of success in.

Alexander Usyk Anthony Joshua Deontay Wilder Tyson Fury

“He had one fight at heavyweight. He didn’t struggle against Chisora, but it wasn’t an easy fight either.

“So in my personal opinion, Chisora is a hard fight for anybody because he’s one of those rough, tough guys, and that’s just what it is.

“I give Joshua the edge [over Usyk] because he’s been heavyweight and been dominating at heavyweight longer.

“He has a better knockout resume, and he has knocked out heavyweights, and Usyk has yet to knock out a heavyweight. So on that aspect, I give Joshua the edge, but Usyk will cause many problems.

“I hope and pray that Joshua does not underestimate him because Usyk will cause a lot of problems,” Banks continued. “I don’t care who you are.

“Usyk is going to cause problems for you, and if you’re not careful, he will cause you so many problems that you will find yourself down ten rounds in a 12 round fight.  He causes a lot of problems. So they [Team Joshua] are going to have to be on their Ps and Qs,” said Banks.

For Usyk to win, he will have to limit the number of heavy shots; Joshua lands in the early rounds when he’s most dangerous. It’s vital that Usyk box Joshua and keep him from landing his massive power shots.

One thing Usyk has going for him is Joshua’s recent weight loss. He’s taken off a lot of muscle weight for this fight, as he seems to be concerned about the mobility the superior stamina of Usyk.

If Joshua chooses to box Usyk rather than using his power, this could play into the strengths of the Ukrainian fighter. Joshua will be fighting Usyk’s fight if he boxes, which could be a mistake on AJ’s part.

Banks analyzes Fury vs. Wilder trilogy

“In the third fight, the trilogy fight with Fury and Wilder, a lot of things are up in the air,” said Banks. “Let’s talk about the things that are up in the air. Wilder is coming back after his first loss, a devastating loss [to Fury].

“The first loss of his [Wilder] career, he’s coming back from his first stoppage ever as a professional. Now he has a different trainer [Malik Scott], and the resume of his last trainer [Mark Breland] doesn’t compare to the resume of his new trainer. They’re like two different resumes.

“Malik Scott is a personal friend of mine, and that’s my bro. Everything he’s showing Deontay Wilder, we don’t know what’s going to happen because he’s never been on this stage before showing these different things. Will it work or Won’t it? We don’t know. That’s why everybody needs to tune into the [Fury vs. Wilder III] fight.

“I’m not making a prediction, and we’re just talking about the facts of what’s going on with each side of the spectrum. You’ve got Fury, and fury was already developed to be a good boxer.

“He was already naturally good at what he does. We got no dispute there. With him and SugarHill [Steward] in the corner, he [Fury] has a mastermind of a trainer.

“Now, if this fight comes down to coaching, who’s the better that is going to win the fight? I’m giving it to SugarHill all day, and you won’t find me going against SugarHill.

“That’s the one thing you won’t find me. I’ve been around him for too many years, and I know him too well. You won’t find me going against him.

“If the fight is left up to who listens to whose strategy better or who is giving the better strategy is up to who is going to win. I give that to SugarHill because he’s the master of what he does. So no dispute there,” said Banks.

Fury’s 40 to 50+ lb weight advantage over Wilder is going to prove to be a massive problem for the ‘Bronze Bomber.’ Wilder cannot afford to stand in one place and allow Fury to walk him down and impose his size as he did last time.

Wilder needs to move constantly, throw shots and not let Fury have a stationary target to maul with his massive weight advantage. What’s also essential for Wilder is to limit the number of times that Fury can grab him in a clinch.

As we saw last time, Fury clinched Wilder frequently after missing one of his right-hand shots. When Fury would hold, he would put all of his weight on Wilder, forcing him to hold him up. This affected Wilder’s thin, weak legs, causing them to go rubbery.

In the trilogy match, Wilder cannot afford to let Fury hold so often because he will likely continue to lean on him with all of his weight when that happens.

Wilder has ‘The Equalizer’

“Deontay Wilder has something we call ‘The Equalizer.’ He said it himself, and I agree with this. Fury has to be perfect for 12 rounds; Deontay Wilder needs one second and one punch, and it ends everything. That part is true.

“That’s why it’s hard to do predictions because you’ve got somebody [Wilder] that can end the fight in the 12th round after losing 11 rounds, and he can end it, and you’ve got somebody that can do that because you’ve got the knockout power.

“But given the fact of what the last performance looked like, we’ve got two guys that can knock each other out,” said Banks about Fury and Wilder. “So now the stakes are raised even higher, and that’s going to make people tune in even more.

“Fury showed that if he steps up, he can start laying leather on somebody and hurting somebody, and he showed that. To me, I can’t give a prediction.

“Keep in mind that if I give the edge to somebody, that doesn’t mean a prediction. It doesn’t mean that person is going to win. That just means that person has the edge in the fight coming into the fight.

“The edge always changes. I give Fury the edge because number one, he’s undefeated, and number two, how the first fight [with Wilder] went. The first two fights, look at them.

“I give him  [Fury] the edge on that, but we all got to wait and see what actually happens. Those are not my predictions, but they are my little sprinkles of value on the fights,” said Banks on the Fury vs. Wilder 3 trilogy match on October 9th.

Wilder does have the right hand, but it’s useless if he can’t land it. He would be better off focusing on volume punching by throwing in combinations and not letting Fury dodge his single right-hand shots.

If Wilder’s accuracy were better, he would be dangerous for Fury with his single right hands, but unfortunately for him, his hand-eye coordination isn’t what it needs to be to land those powerful shots.

For that reason, it would be best for Wilder to follow the success that Fury’s sparring partner Jared Anderson has reportedly had against him by throwing combinations and using volume punching.




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