Friday, July 19, 2024

Usyk v Joshua II – Prediction

Anthony Joshua looks to regain the titles he lost to Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk eleven months ago to become a three-time heavyweight world champion, this Saturday night. It will not be the first time Joshua has been in this exact same situation. He lost his titles to Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019. Only to win them back later that year, in Saudi Arabia.

Joshua will be hoping that pattern repeats itself this weekend. However, he is faced with a much tougher task than the one he was faced with in 2019. Usyk is a gold medallist at the Olympics, World and European champions as an amateur. An undisputed champion at cruiserweight, and now the unified world heavyweight champion. He is one of the best fighters on the planet right now.

In the first fight, Joshua naively tried to outbox a highly skilled southpaw and came up short in every department. Whilst Joshua did have pockets of small successes in the first fight. It felt as if Usyk had barely pulled out of second gear and was just clicking into third as we went into the twelfth and final round.

This time the tactics need to be different. Joshua will need to be more aggressive and take more risks. Yet in doing so opens himself up to Usyk’s counters and trickery. It seems as if Joshua is in between a rock and a hard place. Joshua will need to impose his size on the Ukrainian if he is to have any chance of winning. He is the natural heavyweight, the more powerful man in there. He needs to use those advantages.

Robert Garcia, a former trainer of the year. The man in Joshua’s corner tasked with coming up with the mastermind tactics to help Joshua overcome his shortfalls from the first fight. What tactics have been conjured up will have to wait and see. I expect Joshua to close the gap more and apply more pressure this time around, but as previously highlighted, that also comes with risks.

I do think Usyk gets the knockout this time around. Joshua has no choice but to go for it and take risks but in doing so also opens up doors for the Ukrainian. I am not convinced Joshua will be elusive enough coming forward to cause Usyk serious problems. And as previously stated, I feel Usyk has extra gears he can elevate to if required.

Joshua is a 13/8 underdog to regain his world titles while Usyk is 8/15 favourite to retain at current market prices.

PREDICTION: USYK KO8

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