Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk predictions: Tyson Fury backs AJ but ex-champ thinks Ukrainian will '10,000%' win fight
22nd September 2021

ANTHONY JOSHUA has been overwhelmingly backed to beat Oleksandr Usyk – but warned of the dangers the fight could bring at the same time.

Joshua defends his unified titles against Usyk at Tottenham's stadium on Saturday in arguably the biggest fight of the year so far.

AJ takes in a big size advantage and experience at the top level of the heavyweight picture.

But Usyk is also unbeaten, reigned as cruiserweight king and has a slick, southpaw style yet to be conquered.

It sets up for a massive fight night ahead and here is how the experts are predicting the fight will go.

Dillian Whyte

The Body Snatcher, 33, beat Joshua, 31, in the amateurs, lost the rematch six years later and is still eyeing a trilogy decider to settle the score.

He would need AJ to do the business firstly against Usyk, 34, and that's exactly what he expects.

Whyte said on 5 Live Boxing: "I think it's a great fight, but in my personal opinion, I think Joshua will stop him in the first five, six, or seven rounds."

He added: "Hopefully, he goes back to the old him and starts pressing Usyk and being the bigger, stronger guy and starts backing him up and starts hitting him with stuff early. I think he can get the job done early."

Prediction… Joshua

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Tyson Fury

The Gyspy King, 33, was all set to face Joshua until he was ordered into his contracted trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder, 35.

Initially, he raised concerns for AJ heading into the Usyk fight, but appeared to quickly change his mind.

Fury told Seconds Out: “I think he walks straight through Usyk.

"People are trying to build it up as a scary fight but he didn’t have the power to halt cruiserweights like Mairis Briedis or whoever else he fought."

Michael Hunter

American Hunter's only defeat came to the hands of Usyk down at cruiserweight and he backed his old opponent to cause an upset.

He said on iFL TV: “I don’t think Anthony Joshua beats Usyk unless he knocks him out.

"This is heavyweight boxing, so there’s always going to be knockouts.

“[Usyk] is strong enough and he’s an Olympian and all that. He has the accolades and attributes to do so."

Prediction… Usyk

Chris Eubank Jr

The middleweight contender is a friend of AJ's and knows how versatile he is – and for that reason Eubank Jr, 32, picked against Usyk.

He predicted: “Usyk is extremely smart and can certainly box he has shown that at cruiserweight but I just don’t think he has the size to beat someone like Anthony.

“And Anthony has shown that he is smart too, he demonstrated that in the rematch with Ruiz where he really boxed well.

“So personally I would fancy Anthony to win that fight.”

Prediction… Joshua

John Fury

Big John has a similar opinion to his son Tyson – believing Joshua will be just too big on the night.

He told Boxing Social: “Usyk won’t be able to hit hard enough to bother him because he’s too small. He’ll walk straight through.

"I think AJ will stop him quicker than anybody else. I think AJ will walk straight through him. I do.

“One’s a cruiserweight, one’s bulking up. And if he bulks up to try and meet him head-on, forget about it. That’s why there’s weight classes, ain’t they. A good big one will always beat a good little one. And AJ is a good big one.”

Prediction… Joshua

Sergey Kovalev

The Russian, 38, is a former light-heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound contender.

He was dethroned in 2016 by Andre Ward, who moved up from super-middleweight.

It means Kovalev knows the threat of an undersized superstar and has put his money on Usyk.

He posted on social media: "Usyk will defeat Joshua, 10,000%. Place your bets."

Prediction… Usyk

David Haye

The Hayemaker knows a thing or two about moving up from cruiserweight to heavyweight, becoming only the second man behind Evander Holyfield to win titles in both the divisions.

But he showed no allegiance to his fellow former cruiserweight and tipped Joshua in emphatic fashion.

Speaking to SecondsOut, Haye, 40, said: “AJ knocks Usyk out very conclusively. Left, right, jab, right cross that puts Usyk down or out, and then it’s done.

"One hundred per cent inside six rounds. If it does go past six rounds, it’s because AJ wants it to go past six rounds."

Prediction… Joshua

Tony Bellew

Bellew, 38, retired after a knockout loss to Usyk in 2018 and admires the Ukrainian but has thrown his full support to close pal AJ.

He told talkSPORT: “Come rounds seven, eight and nine, he is going to find out why he is not a true heavyweight.

"I think Anthony Joshua’s speed, power and perseverance will be what catches up with Oleksandr Usyk.

“I wish he would stop fighting my friends because I want to support him! I’m a huge admirer of him and I have so much respect for the boy, but he just keeps fighting my friends so I can’t support him.”

Prediction… Joshua

Frank Warren

Fury's UK promoter will hope AJ prevails to keep the undisputed dream alive but can see it potentially going the other way.

Warren said on iFL TV: “Anthony Joshua must be the favourite for the fight. He’s the bigger guy and he’s a bigger puncher.

“Having said that, if he doesn’t get rid of him, and if he’s still there after five or six rounds, then it gets to the end of the fight, if that goes 12 rounds, I would fancy Usyk to get the decision because to get there, he’s going to have to outbox him.

“He proved it at cruiserweight. He was fantastic, and he’s made his mark in that weight division. He was a superb cruiserweight."

Prediction… Sitting on the fence

Luke Campbell

Campbell, 33, became Olympic champ alongside AJ at the London 2012 Games, and backed the heavyweight to once more bring the gold home.

He told The Mirror: "Joshua has got quick hands, and is a big strong heavyweight so if he imposes his strengths I think he will win the fight.

"If he sits off it could be Usyk's night, and I can't see Usyk wanting to get involved in a big strong heavyweight like Joshua.

"So his tactics will mostly be to make him miss, move around and Joshua has to put it on him."

Prediction… Joshua

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