Anthony Joshua could end up facing Oleksandr Usyk next year, and he has questioned whether the Ukrainian has the power to be a superstar at heavyweight.
Usyk faces Dereck Chisora on Saturday night (October 31), with status as mandatory contender for AJ’s WBO world heavyweight title on the line. The bout will air live on Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view in the UK (price £19.95) and DAZN in the United States.
Team Usyk expect an immediate shot at Joshua if their man defeats Chisora. And Joshua defeats Kubrat Pulev on December 12 of course.
Joshua though says while Usyk is a master boxer, he is not sure whether the former cruiserweight king as the power to earn respect in boxing’s marquee weight class.
Power earns respect – Joshua
He told Sky Sports: “When I boxed Andy Ruiz Jr in the second fight I adapted to the Usyk style. Hit and don’t get hit, the sweet science of boxing. You learn that from the amateurs.
“I was amateur for two-and-a-half years so was still adapting to different styles. Usyk was amateur for a long time so he has taken the ‘hit and don’t get hit’ style into the pros.
“The good thing that helped me? Sometimes I know to sit down on my feet and hurt someone.
“You’ve got to let them know that you’re there because all that pitty-patty stuff after 12 rounds? Sometimes people don’t respect that type of power.”
Usyk’s co-promoter Alex Krassyuk exclusively told Furyjoshua.com that his man expects a shot at AJ, and he would advise him not to step aside to allow Joshua to face Tyson Fury instead.
Fury and Joshua are expected to fight twice next year – with Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn suggesting the first meeting could be as early as April.
Usyk of course could be a blocker to that – AJ would need to vacate his WBO belt to meet Fury instead. That would mean Fury vs Joshua not being for the undisputed heavyweight title.