More than three years have passed since the epic conquest of the title of absolute world champion in Moscow, and Oleksandr Usyk still has not found his place in the heavyweight division. Injuries, covid, doping found on the opponent - all these factors have led to the fact that Usik has been holding one fight a year in recent years. And his rivals were real heavyweights with a good punch, but they were older boxers. But the fight with Derek Chisora at home refereeing turned out to be very close.
With his fights, Usyk was never able to finally convince his fans and experts of his readiness to compete with the tops in the heavyweight division. No one doubts the technical training of the Olympic champion or his speed data, but whether this is enough to resist Joshua, who also won the Games in London and also knows how to play technical boxing. Or against Tyson Fury with his size and agility. Both Britons also have frankly powerful blows. The tendril can hit well too (Tony Bellew can confirm), but he has never knocked out such big guys before.
After resting after Derek Chisora, Usyk's team began to look for options to continue the Ukrainian's career. He remained a contender for the WBO belt, which was held by Anthony Joshua. Since Usyk and Joshua are working together with promoter Eddie Hearn, negotiations for a duel have begun. But then Joshua had the opportunity to unite the belts in a fight with Tyson Fury. Usyk's side politely retreated, giving the Briton an opportunity to try his luck to unite all the titles. But the fight between Fury and Joshua never happened. American Deontay Wilder managed through the court to prove the right to another revenge, obliging Fury to fight.
Meanwhile, Usyk calmly kept his shape and waited. And as it turned out, he was not waiting in vain. When negotiations with Fury broke down, Eddie Hearn returned to negotiations with Usyk. And in July a contract was signed for the fight - September 25, London, Tottenham Stadium. And only after that, full-fledged preparation for the battle began - Usyk went to a training camp near Kyiv, where he tuned in for a new challenge in his career.
Judging by the way Usyk flew to London, he gained a little mass. This is good considering Joshua's advantage in height, weight, and arm length. In addition, Joshua has the amateur experience and an Olympic medal in boxing behind his back, where, unlike professionals, they work more to deliver as many accurate punches as possible, and not to knock out the opponent. So Usyk's manner shouldn't be unfamiliar to Joshua. Has he met such a technical opponent? Absolutely not. Has he dealt with Olympic champions before? Yes, Vladimir Klitschko in 2017.
The intrigue of the upcoming fight is one of the biggest in recent years in boxing. Anthony Joshua is a clear favorite in many boxing parameters. But no one will be surprised at Usyk's victory. Because with his bright performances, albeit in the past, he made everyone believe that Usyk could outbox anyone.