By Charles Brun: Frazer Clarke says the plan of action for Anthony Joshua to defeat the unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is to outhustle him on August 20th in the same way that Derek Chisora and Chazz Witherspoon did.
Clarke says Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) won’t attempt to “outbox” Usyk (19-0, 13 KOs, but neither is he going to try and maul him. That would be the Tyson Fury approach if he were to fight Usyk by grabbing him in frequent bearhugs and leaning all 270+ lbs of his weight on him until he tires out.
It’s questionable whether Joshua has the engine to outhustle Usyk at any point in the fight without gassing out, as we saw the last time they fought in September in London. Joshua is a typical bodybuilder-type boxer with a poor engine.
Like Joshua, fighters that are typically over-muscled gas out and stay gassed out for many rounds after, and they’re easy pickings for boxers with superior stamina like Usyk.
Although AJ is capable of getting his second wind, only when his opponent is foolish enough to slow the pace down to a crawl as Wladimir Klitschko did against Joshua in 2017.
Wladimir would have easily won that fight and wrecked Joshua’s career right out of the starting blocks if he’d continued fighting at a fast pace knocking him down and tiring him out in the sixth round.
The fact of the matter is, Joshua was never that good of a fighter, even in his best years. He always had a poor gas tank, and the fighters he beat were a bunch of ham & eggers and old shot guys like Alexander Povetkin, Klitschko, Carlos Takam, and Kubrat Pulev.
“All focus has been on Usyk and on out-hustling him with educated pressure,” Frazer Clarke told The Telegraph about Anthony Joshua’s plan to defeat Oleksandr Usyk.
“Usyk is one of the more skillful heavyweight champions we’ve had in recent years. Just going in there and mauling him like people are suggesting, it’s never going to happen. Nor will trying to outbox him.
“We know Usyk can be outhustled. We saw that in his fights against Derek Chisora and his first heavyweight opponent, Chaz Witherspoon,” said Clarke.
If you look at the Chisora and Witherspoon fights, Usyk focused on landing accurate shots rather than just sparring punches the way those two journeymen did. If Usyk had wanted to use volume punching, he could have and likely would have knocked both guys out early.
Chisora was hurt during that fight, and the scoring was atrocious, just as it was on Derek’s recent questionable victory over 41-year-old Pulev. Charles Brun had Usyk beating Chisora 11-1.
“This is street fighting with a referee and gloves and rules, so you’ve got to do whatever you can to unsettle this man and use all your attributes,” said Clarke about Joshua needing to throw Usyk off his game.
It sounds like a stupid plan if Joshua tries to “unsettle” Usyk by “street fighting.” That would be pathetic. Hopefully, Joshua doesn’t resort to illegal tactics like rabbit punching and low blows to try and win at all costs.