- Date & Location: Saturday, September 25 at Tottemham Hostspur Stadium in London, England
- Odds: Anthony Joshua (-250) vs. Oleksandr Usyk (+200) via Bovada
- Prediction: Joshua by decision
Fans were hopeful they would see a Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua fight this year, but that fell apart in May when Deontay Wilder won a civil court case to fight Fury for a third time. With that, the dreams of a unified heavyweight title fight were paused.
Instead of facing Fury, Joshua faces Oleksandr Usyk on September 25. The bout, which is scheduled for 12 rounds, sees Joshua put his IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles on the line.
Joshua brings a record of 22-1 into the fight. His only loss was a surprising June 2019 knockout loss to Andy Ruiz. Joshua got that one back with a unanimous decision in the rematch. Joshua is on a two-fight winning streak. His most recent win is a December 2020 knockout victory over Kubrat Pulev. Joshua has 22 knockout wins on his 24-1 record.
Usyk is a perfect 18-0 and is coming off October 2020 unanimous decision win over Derek Chisora. Usyk has 13 knockout wins.
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JOSHUA vs. USYK PREDICTION & PICK
Joshua has an enormous advantage in this fight at heavyweight as Usyk only has two matchups at that weight. The first came in October 2019 and the second in October 2020. Joshua is a big test for any heavyweight. He’s going to be a bigger test for someone who only has two heavyweight outs under his belt.
With that being said, as you can see from the odds, no one is expecting Usyk to be a walkover for Joshua. I see a spirited and close bout here, but I think Joshua walks away with the win because of his size, power and experience.
Prediction: Joshua at -260 via BetOnline
BETTING VALUE WITH JOSHUA
At -250 to win, Joshua presents a decent value, but not a great value. A bettor might want to consider the outcome of this contest and the length the fight will go. I think Usyk will give Joshua problems early with his speed and his footwork. With that, I don’t believe an early knockout is in the cards. In fact, with his speed, footwork and use of angles, I think Usyk has a good chance to go the distance.
If one sees Usyk getting the upset, I’m not sure he represents an overwhelming value at +200 and knowing he has never fought an opponent as large or as powerful as Joshua, I’m unsure if he will outpoint Joshua when he will be the less powerful fighter.
Pick: Joshua via decision at -260 at Sportsbetting
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Joshua has the size, power and heavyweight experience advantage in this matchup. As for Usyk, he has advantages in speed, footwork and overall boxing skills. One question about who will be the better fighter on fight night could be answered by how these men prepare for the bout. Will Joshua try to cut a great deal of weight to be faster? Will Usyk try to bulk up to increase his power? That is an important question. I think Usyk will add bulk, but not enough to hurt his speed or stamina. I also think Joshua will slim down, but not enough to hurt his power or fitness. In short, Joshua has the edge in this one.
TALE OF THE TAPE: JOSHUA vs. USYK
|Anthony Joshua||Category||Oleksandr Usyk|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
For Joshua, a loss here might cost him the opportunity to ever face Tyson Fury. With the amount of money involved and the chance to be the undisputed heavyweight champion, expect Joshua to be focused and dialed in.
Usyk is a live dog in this fight, but that doesn’t mean a victory over Joshua won’t be seen as an extraordinary upset.
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