Usyk doesn’t have the same power as Joshua – says Martin Bakole after sparring Oleksandr
By Max Schramm: Martin Bakole says he spent two weeks helping out Oleksandr Usyk with sparring, and he lacks the same power that Anthony Joshua possesses.
Bakole states that he was never hurt by Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) when he worked with him. Marin believes he needs to add more weight to his frame.
The former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk hasn’t had much time to develop his power since moving up to the heavyweight division in 2019.
Usyk, 34, has had only had two fights at heavyweight against Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora, and his weight is still too light for him to be a threat with his power.
He’s essentially a rehydrated cruiserweight, and he’s not likely going to be able to add size without it slowing him down.
Bakole says Usyk’s power is not hurtful
“He’s a top guy, and he’s got good skills. He has a top record, and everyone knows he’s the best,” said Martin Bakole to iFL TV about Usyk. “But heavyweight is not like a cruiserweight.
“At heavyweight, one punch can change your stuff, but he’s good. I sparred him for two weeks, and I don’t know if it’s the way that he prepared for it, but he never hit me with a punch that hurt me.
“Maybe he’s saving that for the fight, but cruiserweight is not the same as a heavyweight. If you see him, he looks small. He needs to put some weight on because at heavyweight; they have a nice punch.
“At cruiserweight, he has nice skill, but I don’t think he has the same power as AJ. AJ has more power than him.
“I sparred him, and I never see any big punch like when I sparred AJ. That’s the big difference,” said Bakole about the difference between Usyk and Joshua.
Usyk can hurt Joshua if he gets him fatigued to the point of exhaustion, as his punch resistance seems to drop when he’s tired. But the only times Joshua has depleted is when he’s had his opponents hurt, and he was shooting for knockouts.
It might not end well for Usyk if Joshua hurts him and unloads on him. Also, there’s the potential of a premature stoppage that could happen, given the location for the fight.
This fight isn’t in the U.S and won’t have Jack Reiss as the referee. So if Joshua can flurry on Usyk, there’s a chance the referee will step in and halt the fight without a knockdown occurring.
You would hope the referee doesn’t halt the fight prematurely, but we’ve seen it happen time and time again in battles that took place in the UK.
Usyk focusing more on speed
“You know boxing is more than a big punch,” said Bakole. “It’s skill as well. I learned a big lesson from that. When I fought Michael Hunter, I was only looking for a big punch to stop him.
“After that, my coach said, ‘What were you looking for that?’ We learned from that, and I started working on speed as well as power.
“That’s what Usyk was doing, and he was doing that at cruiserweight, and now he’s doing that at heavyweight.
“If he had enough power, he would have knocked out Chisora. Let’s see what he [Usyk] is going to bring on September 25th.
“I think he’s working on going the distance. I didn’t see anything where he can knock AJ out,” said Bakole.
Usyk has to stick with what’s gotten him to where he’s at because he won’t have success if he changes his style. He puts his shots together well, and he outmaneuvers his opponents.
His skills and stamina make him a threat to Joshua, but maybe not a knockout threat. Even at cruiserweight, Usyk wasn’t a knockout artist the way Evander Holyfield was.
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