Boxing Combat Sports Uncategorized

Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk Preview

Tonight the sport of Boxing will host what will become the biggest fight since Tyson vs Holyfield II. The Unified Heavyweight Champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua will put his titles on the line to face the undisputed and undefeated cruiserweight in Olekdsandr Usyk. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is where we will be watching this all unfold and we will all witness the true art of boxing. Both of these men won Gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games and will hope that the city can once again provide them with another gold.

For much of the past twenty years boxing as a sport has been in the shadow of the multi dimensional mixed martial arts (MMA). What was once the most prestigious event in all of the sporting landscape had now fallen from grace amidst poor fighting, dubious judging and just a stubborn mindset of refusing to change with the times. Alas MMA behind their largest promotion, the UFC was booming and turning non combat fans into fans all the while converting long standing boxing fans over to the new shiny object in the room.

Even though there are numerous MMA promotions inside each individual organisation they have only one champion per weight division. Whereas Boxing have so many different governing bodies and inside each of them have various titles across the one weight division. This is another reason why boxing has lost it’s shine. A fighter can lose one title but still be considered a champion in another governing body. Yes they have ways to unify titles, but it comes down to money and a ranking system that is confusing and bias in it’s most basic form.

Image supplied by Skysports.co.uk

Here is a look at the match up for tonight’s main event. Anthony Joshua (24-1, 22KO) is hoping to make a statement and cement his legacy as potentially one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. It is widely publicised that Oleksandr was not his nor the general public’s first choice. WBC Champion Tyson Fury was announced as his next opponent for what would have been the complete unification of the heavyweight division. Within days of the announcement a decision was made that Tyson Fury was to rematch Deontay Wilder. I will promise to preview that fight in detail and also provide my opinion on the erratic mental state of Tyson Fury.

After the announcement, Aj’s promoter Eddie Hearn from Matchroom Boxing didn’t waste any time and had Oleksandr booked in a heartbeat. For me this will be his toughest test, this opponent will make every miss count. Does he goes to his strength which is his primal power which he harnesses from that chiseled frame or does he pace himself and try to outsmart quite possibly the smartest heavyweight on the roster?

The challenger – Welcome Oleksandr Usyk (18-0 13KO). To me he needs no introduction, unified and undefeated cruiserweight. He was the first man to hold all cruiserweight titles simultaneously. He is known as “The Cat” because of his speed and accuracy. He for me is also the smartest heavyweight in the world and this is what will trouble AJ the most. Going back to his roots and training under world renowned trainer Anatoly Lomachenko, this is a sign that he is taking this challenge as his greatest to date. Since he is a natural cruiserweight and the task of jumping up to face the bigger heavyweight, the critics believe that he will never live up to his own dream of capturing the heavyweight crowns. His boxing intelligence and fast hands is what will separate him from the rest of the divisions. He may lack primal knockout power, but he will make them miss and wear them down and will finish them in the championship rounds of the fight.

Courtesy of Dylan Buell/Getty Images

So here we are as boxing fans, holding our breaths as we are on the edge of our seats hoping that tonight’s fight can live up to the hype and place heavyweight boxing right back at the pinnacle of the combat sport’s pyramid. After last night’s weigh in we saw the challenger come in 4lbs heavier than his last fight against Derek Chisora at 221lbs but surprisingly the champion came in at the lightest he was weighed in his professional career at 240lbs. All this being said I do believe Usyk will begin a new reign as a heavyweight champion and will get a round 9 stoppage. But no matter who wins tonight the real winner needs to be the sport of boxing.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: