Usyk has a good chance against Joshua says Roy Jones Jr
By Charles Brun: Legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr. gives Oleksandr Usyk a real shot at dethroning heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua tonight in their fight at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London, England.
Roy says if Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) fails to use his size and power to smash the former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) out of there in the early rounds, he’s in for a long night.
Usyk will take over the contest in the second half of the fight against a tiring Joshua and possibly beat him.
Has Joshua improved?
Jones Jr says he didn’t like what he saw of IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua in his rematch with an overweight Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2019, as Roy felt he should have done more.
In Joshua’s last fight against 40-year-old Kubrat Pulev, you can’t give him too much credit for that contest because he’s fighting such an old and past-it fighter.
Pulev looked closer to 50-years-old than 40, and it was troubling to watch. How did a fighter as old and shot-looking at Pulev weave his way to become the IBF mandatory challenger for Joshua.
The answer is Pulev fought Hughie Fury in an IBF-ordered eliminator in 2018 and then waited until 2o20 to get his title shot against Joshua.
Can Usyk take Joshua’s power?
“You give him a lot of chance because you know that with Joshua coming in at 240, he expects to go out there and take him out. So it’ll be what can Usyk take?” said Roy Jones Jr. to iFL TV.
“If Usyk can take it, we’re in for a great fight because if it gets late, you better give Usyk a chance.
“If he blasts him out, that’s what we expect because Anthony Joshua is the bigger guy and the more athletic guy. But if he lets Usyk get into the fight, it’ll be a tough fight for him.
“I think he’s changed. He’s learned a little bit more and used his assets a little bit better,” said Roy when asked if Joshua had learned from previous fights.
“In the Ruiz fight, I wasn’t a big fan of because I felt like he could have done a lot more, but he chose not to win in a safe way, which is cool,” said Jones about Joshua fighting in an overly cautious manner in his rematch with Andy Ruiz in December 2019.
“This guy was 15 pounds overweight. This was your chance to learn a little bit.
“Now, Pulev, he [Joshua] looked a lot better against. So hopefully, he can change and bring those changes to the ring and make it happen,” Roy said of Joshua.
Usyk may not need to handle Joshua’s power if AJ chooses to foolishly box him in the early going, as many expect him to do. Even Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn implores him to come out fast, throwing continuous power punches to take Usyk out right away, and it doesn’t look like Joshua intends on doing that.
He wants to show the world that he’s got the technical ability and ring IQ to beat Usyk at his own game, and his crazy ideas could come back to haunt him tonight.
Oleksandr’s lack of power = main problem
“Size won’t be a problem [for Usyk]. He’ll have no more of a size disadvantage that I had,” said Jones about his fight with John Ruiz many years ago.
“He’s 221, and Joshua is 240, so that’s 19 pounds. I was really 199, and this guy was 226, so I gave away 27 lbs.
“So the size isn’t an issue, but the difference is, Usyk doesn’t have an explosive punch.
“He has more of a banging punch, and explosive allowed me to survive early in the fight and put fear in my opponent early in the fight.
“Without him [Usyk] having the explosiveness, I don’t know if he’ll have the opportunity to put fear in Joshua early.
“If he doesn’t, that gives Joshua a chance to throw darts at the bullseye for a minute.
“Once Joshua slows down, if he slows down, then Usyk can come back and make up for that long time because he’s not an explosive puncher; he’s a volume puncher.
“He’s got decent power, but he’s more of a volume power guy than an explosive power guy,” said Roy of Oleksandr Usyk.
It’s only evident that Usyk’s lack of power is his main problem, not his lack of size. As we saw with Mike Tyson, you can still win against bigger foes if you’re smaller, but you got to have the speed and power to make that happen.
Unfortunately for Usyk, he has neither. He’s not fast or powerful, and what Usyk does have going for him is ring IQ, maneuverability, stamina, and a southpaw stance.
That might be enough for Usyk to win tonight, but he’ll need to potentially an early storm from Joshua for that to happen.
Joshua must get Usyk out early
“I would go two ways because I think the world of both fighters,” said Jones when asked to make a prediction on the Joshua vs. Usyk fight.
“For Joshua to win, I would think for him to come out and blast Usyk out and get Usyk in trouble. He can get him in trouble or night or go in and take him out.
“If he doesn’t come out and hurt Usyk early and demand the respect that Usyk is not, then it’ll be a long night for him.
“Usyk clearly has the more experienced and is the better boxer. He’s not the better power puncher, but he’s the better boxer. If you allow him to get into a late drag-out fight where you get fatigued, he can win that,” said Roy.
If Joshua doesn’t get to Usyk early, he’ll miss his chance and likely wind up getting taken out in the later rounds.
With Joshua’s emphasis on wanting to prove that he can outbox Usyk, he’s going to let him hang around into the later rounds.
Joshua has the body of a Ferrari, but not common sense, and he seems to fight the way he wants to rather than following instructions.
When you get a fighter like Joshua doing what he pleases inside the ring, it’s only a matter of time before they get beaten.
Tonight might be the night for Joshua to suffer another embarrassing defeat. If he fails to follow his trainer’s instructions for the rematch with Usyk, he’ll lose that fight too.
Roy Jones Jr. rates Fury #1 heavyweight
“You got to because he beat the man, he beat Klitschko, and then he beat Wilder,” said Roy when asked if he believes that Tyson Fury is the #1 heavyweight in the division.
“He’s got to be #1, and #2 is a toss-up in the air. No matter how you look at it, Fury has got to be #1.
“You put Joshua or Wilder at #2 because both of them are former champs.
“You can put Dillian [Whyte] or Usyk #4 or #5 because one of them is in the division and one of them just came to the division, and one of them [Oleksandr] is undefeated just coming up to the division.
“You got to look at Whyte. Whyte is good, but he’s always suffered a couple of downsides, so you can’t put him above a guy who hasn’t lost yet.
“That’s what I’m saying. For me, I wouldn’t put him above a guy that hasn’t lost yet. So Usyk and Whyte should be #4 or #5, Wilder and Joshua should be #2 or #3, but Fury #1.”
Deontay Wilder could beat Fury
“To me, he’s [Fury] won most of the rounds that he’s fought [against Wilder], but he’s also been knocked down two times brutally.
“As you guys say, he got brutally knocked down. I don’t know; it’s hard to say. You can never count a puncher out,” said Jones.
I don’t think you can rightfully call Tyson Fury the #1 heavyweight in the division because his foul-plagued win over Deontay a year and a half ago wasn’t a clean victory.
Take away the rabbit punches that Fury landed to incapacitate Wilder early, and we might have seen a victory for the Bronze Bomber.
Right now, the age, inactivity, and rumors of Fury getting battered by sparring partners Jared Anderson and Efe Ajagba make it impossible to rate him as the #1 heavyweight in the division.
Charles Brun’s list of top heavyweights:
1. Anthony Joshua
2. Joe Joyce
3. Daniel Dubois
4. Jared Anderson
5. Dillian Whyte
6. Tyson Fury
7. Tony Yoka
8. Filip Hrgovic
9. Efe Ajagba
10. Luis Ortiz
11. Andy Ruiz Jr.
12. Michael Hunter
13. Robert Helenius
14. Oleksandr Usyk
15. Arslanbek Makhmudov
- Anthony Joshua unlikely to step aside, wants Usyk rematch says Eddie Hearn
- Anthony Joshua not ruling out taking step aside “if money’s right”
- Fury coach Jorge Capetillo wants Joshua to step aside to let Tyson face Usyk
- Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk rematch in March or April 2022, possibly London says Eddie Hearn