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Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter happy to rematch Joshua, not against it

Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua boxing photo

By Max Schramm: Oleksandr Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk says his fighter isn’t angry that Anthony Joshua has activated the rematch clause in the contract to force a second fight between them.

On the contrary, Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) is happy to fight Joshua again because he wants to defeat the former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion a second time.

A rematch will give Usyk another massive payday of millions, and the opportunity to prove his win last Saturday wasn’t a fluke.

If not for a rematch with Joshua, Usyk would likely face the winner of the October 9th Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III trilogy match. That would give him a chance to become the undisputed winner heavyweight champion.

Usyk pulled off a shock upset last weekend, beating the heavily favored Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England.

Joshua failed to utilize his power and size advantage against Usyk due to his decision to box the former undisputed cruiserweight champion.

Joshua has already activated the rematch clause

“The rematch was spelled out in our contract. When we discussed it, he [Oleksandr] was not upset but, on the contrary, was delighted. He said, ‘Cool, I will beat Anthony twice,” said Usyk’s promoter Krassyuk as quoted by @MichaelBensonn.

Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua boxing photo “AJ was stuck to the plan, but his plan wasn’t the best one. He planned to box Usyk, which I suggest is an impossible assignment neither for AJ or any other heavyweight in the world at the moment,” said Usyk’s promoter Alex Krassyuk to Boxing Social.

“Usyk didn’t allow him [Joshua] to do what he wanted to do. Joshua threw more jabs than Usyk, so he was looking for the distance to place his hard right hand, which he usually does.

“According to my understanding, he [Joshua] has already activated the rematch clause,” said Krassyuk when asked if Usyk will face Joshua next.

“It was a decision already. I think it’ll happen. Only extraordinary circumstances will change it, but as of now, it will definitely happen,” said Krassyuk.

Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum revealed on Monday that he wants Joshua to step aside so that ‘The Gypsy King’ can face Usyk next for the undisputed championship.

The offer that Arum plans on giving AJ allows him to save face and dodge the risky rematch with Usyk without taking too much flak from the boxing world.

We’ll see if Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn are willing to agree to the overture from Arum.

If so, it would set up a big fight between Fury and Usyk that would get a lot of attention from boxing fans worldwide. Also, it would give Joshua time to recover mentally from his loss to Usyk, and he needs time to make sense of it all.

Usyk getting ready for Joshua rematch

“This is the first time I have heard of it,” said Krassyuk when told that Bob Arum of Top Rank wants to have Joshua step aside so that Tyson Fury can face Usyk next, and then the winner faces AJ.

“As of now, we are getting ready for the rematch. The thing is, I don’t see Fury winning Wilder. This is not the prediction. This is the hunch. Well, I feel Wilder is going to knock Fury out,” Krassyuk said.

It sounds like Usyk is already mentally preparing for the rematch with Joshua and getting ready to defeat the big 6’6″ Brit a second time.

Losing the rematch to Usyk will be catastrophic for Joshua and his promoters at Matchroom Boxing, as it would indicate that AJ’s career is now heading into a downward trajectory.

Joshua has lost two out of his last four fights. A second defeat for Joshua to Usyk would put AJ’s record at 2-3 in his previous five contests. There’s no other way of looking at a record like that without thinking that Joshua’s career is deteriorating.

Krassyuk expects Joshua to improve

“I expect¬† AJ to be better in the rematch because he has to change a lot,” continued Krassyuk. “If he tries to learn boxing in the next five or six months and tries to box Usyk again, that would be a disaster.

“His advantage is size and power. If you cannot bring that kind of advantage, you will not be successful,” Krassyuk said of Joshua.

“There is a deadline [for the Joshua vs. Usyk rematch]. It’s something like February or March next year.

“We have a rematch, and as soon as it’s successful, we will link for the undisputed heavyweight championship,” said Krassyuk on Usyk’s goals.

Joshua will certainly fight more aggressively in the rematch with Usyk, but whether that’s an improvement or not over his last performance remains to be seen.

If Joshua fights as he used to by loading up on all his shots, the outcome could be worse for him. He’ll be open to getting countered by Usyk, as he was in his first fight with Andy Ruiz Jr., and he might gas out early.

Joshua gassed out after eight rounds last Saturday by just boxing conservatively against Usyk. It stands to reason that if Joshua comes out quicker in the rematch looking to KO Usyk, he’ll tire faster, and he would be vulnerable to getting stopped.

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