Anthony Joshua should copy Fury to defeat Usyk – says Lawrence Okolie

By Boxing News - 10/20/2021 - Comments

By Scott Gilfoid: Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie believes that Anthony Joshua must follow Tyson Fury’s recent blueprint in his last two fights against Deontay Wilder by employing his size advantage against the smaller Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch in 2022.

Fury bulked up to 277-lbs for his trilogy match against the former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder on October 9th. He used his 39-lb weight advantage to maul him like a giant grizzly bear. It wasn’t pretty to watch, but it proved to be effective for Fury.

‘The Gypsy King’ looked more like an MMA fighter than a boxer, but with the referee doing nothing to police all Fury’s grappling, there wasn’t much Deontay could do about it.

If the referee had taken points off from Fury for his roughhouse tactics against Wilder, he would have been up the creek.

Nowadays, referees are lax when it comes to controlling the mauling done by fighters like Fury, leaving it up to their opponents to try and deal with the Greco-Roman wrestling they use to gain an advantage over smaller foes.

Joshua to try mugging Usyk in the rematch

Former IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) chose not to listen to the advice given to him from his promoter Eddie Hearn and his boxing fans by using his size and strength in his fight against Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs) last month on September 25th in London, England.

As a result, Usyk easily outboxed the slow-footed, stiff-looking Joshua to win a 12 round unanimous decision in front of 60,000 disappointed AJ fans at the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium.

Image: Anthony Joshua should copy Fury to defeat Usyk - says Lawrence Okolie

Joshua felt he knew better than the many people who thought he should use his massive advantage to crush the 231-lb Usyk.

In the aftermath of the fight, Joshua shows signs of panic, traveling to the U.S and reportedly looking for a new trainer to replace his current one, Rob McCracken.

None of that would have been necessary if Joshua had used his size on Usyk and roughed him up as Fury did against Wilder in their last two fights.

“Fury decided, you know what, I’m 277-pounds, and I’m going to let you know it,” said Okolie to the Daily Mail on Tyson’s trilogy match against Wilder.

“He pushed him back, ground him down, and got the stoppage. I believe AJ can do something similar [against Usyk],’ said Okolie.

Joshua will try every trick in the book to use his size on Usyk in their rematch in early 2022, but it’s going to come down to his stamina & punch resistance.

If Joshua can’t fight hard for more than two or three rounds without exhausting his gas tank, all that Fury-esque mauling that he’s going to use against Usyk won’t help.

If anything, it might work against Joshua because he’ll be the one tiring from the wrestling, not the better conditioned Usyk. I’m just saying.

Okolie expects Joshua to beat Oleksandr

Nine out of ten heavyweights aren’t going to try and box Usyk. They’re going to go in there and say, ‘I am a natural heavyweight, let me show you,'” said Okolie in his theory on what Joshua should do against Oleksandr.

“I believe AJ does that, and alongside the boxing skills he has, he’ll get it done [against Usyk].

“He [Joshua] relied a bit too much on his boxing ability, where sometimes you have to remember it’s a contact sport, so go in there and make contact,” said  Okolie.

It sounds good what Okolie is saying, but you have to remember this is Joshua we’re talking about. All the terrible-looking wrestling by Joshua could prove futile against the talented Usyk.