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Oleksandr Usyk has a 100% chance of winning against Anthony Joshua – says Shawn Porter

Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua boxing photo

By Jim Maltzman: Shawn Porter believes Oleksandr Usyk has a 100% chance of beating IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua this Saturday, September 25th, at Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England.

Former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter says he doesn’t know who will win the fight, but he believes Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) has a perfect shot.

Porter knows how good Usyk is because the two fought in the amateurs many years ago, and he beat the Ukrainian fighter. That was back when Usyk was a lot smaller,  weighing 165 lbs.

Porter rules out the possibility of him bulking up to heavyweight to challenge Usyk should he defeat Joshua to become the new IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champion.

Fans believe the 6’6″ Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) will be too big and strong for the 6’3″ former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk.

But due to what we had seen happen to Joshua in his upset loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. in 2019, you can’t dismiss the possibility of Usyk entirely winning.

Usyk has a 100% chance of winning

“I’m not messing with Usyk. I’m happy to see him doing everything that he’s done to this point. There’s a 100% chance for him to win this fight,’ said Shawn Porter to Fighthype on Usyk having a great shot at beating Anthony Joshua on Saturday.

“I don’t know who is going to win this fight. I haven’t picked either-or,” Porter continued.

“I’m just going to sit back and let it happen more so than having an expectation and the expectation not being met or me more or less wanting one of the fighters.

“I think it’s going to be a great one. If anything, if he [Usyk] wins that, people will say, ‘Once upon a time, Shawn Porter beat him.’ That’s about it, but those were old times,” said Porter.

Usyk does have a chance of winning this fight, as long as he can avoid getting clipped by one of Joshua’s hard shots.

If Joshua hurts Usyk, he’s likely to flurry on him, and he could get the benefit of a premature stoppage.

Hopefully, the referee doesn’t spaz out and stop the contest prematurely, but there’s always a chance of that happening.

Oleksandr Usyk has put on size

“You see Oleksandr Usyk and AJ doing a couple of rounds and juggling,” said Eddie Hearn to Sky Sports Boxing. ”

“Initial thoughts, Oleksandr Usyk, looks big, his neck looks thick, the shoulders looked well-toned, but then AJ got in the ring and looked absolutely huge as well.

“It’s just a brilliant fight. You’ve got the unified heavyweight champion against the undisputed cruiserweight world champion.

“To Olympic gold medalists from London [2012 Olympics], two pound-for-pound greats. I’m extremely nervous, but AJ is in a really great place.

“I’m really excited about the challenge of Oleksandr Usyk. The one thing about these guys is that they’re pure fighters.

“It’s all about legacy. I know financially they’ll do well on the weekend, but I promise you with AJ and Usyk, this is just about legacy. This is about AJ being a great fighter and adding to an incredible resume,” Hearn said.

We don’t know how well Usyk will be able to fight with the weight he’s put on, as he’s only now bulked up.  It’s going to be fun to see if Usyk’s weight gain will help or hinder him against Joshua.

If Usyk is slowed down because of the weight, Joshua will probably knock him out. Likewise, if Usyk runs out of gas, Joshua will stop him for sure.

Joshua on a 12-fight run

“You got back to Dillian Whyte, Charles Martin, Dominic Breazeale, Eric Molina, Wladimir Klitschko, Carlos Takam, Joseph Parker, Alexander Povetkin, Andy Ruiz, Kubrat Pulev and Olekander Usyk.

That is a 12-fight run of elite heavyweights at their time when he faced them.

“This guy has a resume like we haven’t seen in heavyweight boxing for a long time. People should respect him. If he can beat Oleksandr Usyk on Saturday, who is already on the pound-for-pound list.

AJ should get a lot of credit for this because this is one tough fight in what will be a stunning night at Tottenham Stadium.

“I’ve not seen a stadium like this before, back from COVID, nearly 70,000 people in there. This is going to be an unbelievable event.

“It’s really important [to have the Joshua vs. Usyk fight in a stadium] because he had to fight in front of thousands at Wembley [Arena] against Kubrat Pulev.

“It felt like 20,000. But coming back to Leeds a couple of weeks ago with 20,000, we’ve seen fans coming back.

“It makes a difference, and even that show, when the fighters walked out, they were nervous, even though they’ve made that work before,” said Hearn.

Joshua has fought many notable heavyweights during his 12-fight run, but only a couple of the names stand out.

Wladimir Klitschko, Andy Ruiz Jr and Dillian Whyte were by far the best of the bunch. Joshua had the perfect situation in beating all three of those fighters due to issues with each of them.

Wladimir was 40, coming off of a two-year layoff when he fought Joshua. Whyte had an injured left shoulder, which took away his left hook against AJ.

As for Ruiz, he porked up to 283 lbs and was too fat to move around the ring to chase Joshua in their rematch.

Hearn: Usyk is a massive threat to AJ

“Don’t underestimate AJ’s feelings or Usyk’s feelings to be back around that amount of people,” said Hearn. “It is nerve-wracking, especially when there’s so much on the line.

“But what a great moment for the sport and especially for British boxing to see an event of this magnitude to return after the pandemic.

“A huge threat, and there would have been many fighters and many champions that would have just parked the belt and, ‘Yeah, we’re looking in another direction,'” said Hearn when asked how much of a threat Usyk is for Joshua.

“For AJ, the focus on undisputed will always remain, and the only way to do it is to maintain the belts.

“He has to beat Oleksandr Usyk to keep the dream alive, and he wasn’t prepared to swerve the challenge of Oleksander Usyk.

“He’s not that type of guy. It’s definitely a top-five heavyweight in the world. Again, maybe the #1 heavyweight in the world.

“This is the scary thing. You go back to great cruiserweight in the past that go up to heavyweight.

“You talk about Evander Holyfield. It took him a couple of fights for people to recognize him as a true threat to the division.

“Usyk has boxed [Chazz] Witherspoon and [Derek] Chisora, and people say, ‘Has he got it or has he not?’

“Maybe he does. I hope he doesn’t, but he might do. It’s a great battle of minds as well.

“One thing that’s so scary about Usyk is his mind and his ability to work out an opponent and to outthink them.

“But AJ wants to show his skill in this fight as well as his brutality. I just hope we see a bit more of the brutality,” said Hearn.

Usyk has the boxing skills, stamina, and enough power in his left hand to stop Joshua if he gets tired.

Predictably, Joshua will run out of gas if the fight moves past the sixth round on Saturday.

Can Joshua put dents in Usyk?

“If you go back to 2019 when AJ fought in Saudi Arabia, it wasn’t an electric atmosphere that night,” said Hearn. “It was 16,000 people,” Hearn continued.

“Earlier that summer, he boxed Andy Ruiz in front of 18,000 people, and it was going back to Alexander Povetkin in October or November when he was at Wembley.

“That was 2018. So, we’re three years on from that since he’s boxed in that kind of [atmosphere]. I promise you both guys [Joshua and Usyk] will be shocked by the atmosphere, noise, and the spectacle that they will see.

“So I’m very nervous myself right now, which is a great sign for viewers and fans because this is going to be incredible.

“I don’t think it comes down to how these guys handle it during fight week. It comes down to the fight. Can AJ establish his jab and his size [against Usyk]?

“Can he put dents in Usyk early? And can Usyk get in a rhythm in this fight and use the ring and use the movement? You can debate the fight all day, and that’s when you know you have a cracker,” said Hearn.

It could be difficult for Joshua to connect with his uppercuts and power shots on a frequent enough basis against Usyk to knock him out.

If you look at Joshua’s last fight against Kubrat Pulev,  he was missing with many of his shots, even with the big 40-year-old Bulgarian standing right in front of him covering up.

Fans focused on Joshua vs. Usyk ONLY

“The good thing about this fight is the respect we’re getting,” said Hearn about the Joshua vs. Usyk clash.

“We’re not talking too much about the undisputed fight because we’ve got business to take care of on Saturday.

“Any champion fighting a challenger, rematch clauses always exist. We’re not intending on using that rematch clause [for the Joshua vs. Usyk fight].

“We want to see a victory for AJ on Saturday, and we want to see Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder, and hopefully, as we’ve thought before, the paths will meet.

“But right now, with the size of this fight on Saturday, all eyes are on Oleksandr Usyk [and Anthony Joshua,” said Hearn.

It’s difficult for fans to focus on the Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3 fight because they’ve only had one press conference for their October 9th fight

Also, Fury has seemed unreliable lately, pulling out of the July 24th fight with COVID-19 and trying to get out of the fight before that. Many boxing fans are skeptical about whether the match will take place.

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