Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk fight predictions, odds, expert picks, undercard, preview, date

With the time for speaking nearly over getting into Saturday’s heavyweight championship bout pairing unified titleholder Anthony Joshua in opposition to former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, in all probability essentially the most outstanding half is how little has been really stated between them.

In a division crammed with larger-than-life personalities from Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder to Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte, the 2 combatants who will share the ring inside Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in England have been noticeably brief on headline-filling phrases whereas exhibiting one another a wholesome quantity of respect (1 p.m. ET, DAZN).

From the standpoint of Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs), a 34-year-old native of Ukraine and, like Joshua, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, the technique seems to be very a lot calculated. Wearing a go well with from the Joker’s closet of “Batman” fame throughout Thursday’s press convention, Usyk completely embodied bodily what goes on within his genius and really maniacal thoughts. 

The 6-foot-3 southpaw, identified for his dry comedic model, has chosen to not present his playing cards forward of the battle. All of his interviews have been brief and awkward, in actual fact, particularly when requested how he’ll overcome the dimensions distinction of three inches in peak, 4 inches in attain and 18.5 in kilos after Joshua weighed in at 240 on Friday. 

“I am not even interested by that, whether or not he seems to be slim or tall or no matter,” Usyk told IFL TV. “We’re going to see on Saturday night time.  

“He’s a extremely, actually and really well-known man. Even previous women in my nation know who he’s.” 

Requested particularly whether or not his fight-week technique has been one in every of enjoying thoughts video games, Usyk flashed his trademark sinister grin. 

“All of life, it is sport,” Usyk stated. He was simply as glib when requested how he thinks he can pull the upset in opposition to the defending WBA, WBO and IBF champion. 

“Field, boxing,” Usyk stated. “Boxing will occur on Saturday night time.”

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Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) hasn’t been a lot better. He has seemingly deflected all particular questions geared toward Usyk’s distinctive ability set as intelligent boxer and tactician to as an alternative deal with why he wasn’t keen to keep away from a compulsory problem in opposition to such an achieved foe.  

“I really like throwback fighters,” Joshua stated after Thursday’s closing press convention. “I am not a serious historian as a result of I spend loads of time practising. I do not actually battle good fighters as a result of I would like folks to respect me. It isn’t sophisticated. When you informed me I used to be combating King Kong, I’d be there full. That is my job and truthfully, it is a blessing. I really like my work. 

“I knew [Usyk would be the next opponent] about three or 4 months in the past and I took the chance. Why would I be nervous? So long as I can get up the following day and be completely happy and blessed, what’s there to fret about?  It is about taking up private challenges. I simply occur to be ready the place folks have curiosity in my job.” 

Like most boxing followers, Joshua would’ve most well-liked returning this summer season in opposition to Fury, the WBC and lineal champion, to crown boxing’s first undisputed heavyweight champion of the four-belt period. The 2-fight deal was scrapped on the final minute, nonetheless, after Wilder filed a court docket injunction to implement his contractually obligated rematch in opposition to Fury.  

Enter Usyk, who on paper presents the kind of problem Joshua hasn’t but confronted all through a five-year reign as heavyweight champion that was briefly interrupted in 2019 by his upset TKO loss to Andy Ruiz Jr. (which Joshua avenged by resolution six months later).  

Though Usyk has received each of his heavyweight fights since shifting up from cruiserweight, his shut victory final fall over Chisora left critics questioning whether or not he can deal with the ability and measurement of an elite tremendous heavyweight like Joshua. 

The undercard fills out relatively properly on Saturday night time from London. The co-main occasion sees a WBO cruiserweight title protection as champion Lawrence Okolie takes on Dilan Prasovic. Okolie, a local of London, has but to style defeat in his professional profession by way of 16 bouts. He is scored 13 knockouts alongside the best way and carries some severe energy, as evidenced by his knockout of Krzysztof Głowacki in March. Prasovic, in the meantime, additionally enters unbeaten with 12 knockouts in 15 fights, however the native of Montenegro has not confronted the identical ranges of competitors up to now.

Plus, former WBA tremendous middleweight champion Callum Smith is again in motion when he takes on Lenin Castillo in a featured contest. Smith has not fought since a call loss to Canelo Alvarez in December 2020 the place he dropped his title. Previous to that, Smith held the WBA’s 168-pound title for 3 fights with wins over George Groves, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam and John Ryder. Castillo, in the meantime, has received 4 of his final six together with his solely two defeats coming in opposition to larger ranges of competitors.

Combat card, odds

Odds through Caesars Sportsbook

  • Anthony Joshua (c) -270 vs. Oleksandr Usyk +220, WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight championship
  • Lawrence Okolie (c) -2200 vs. Dilan Prasovic +1100, WBO cruiserweight championship
  • Callum Smith -4000 vs. Lenin Castillo +1500, gentle heavyweight
  • Florian Marku -700 vs. Maxim Prodan +500, welterweight
  • Christopher Ousley -110 vs. Khasan Baysangurov -110, middleweight
  • Campbell Hatton -3000 vs. Sonni Martinez +1300, light-weight
  • Daniel Lapin -4500 vs. Pawel Martyniuk +1600, gentle heavyweight

Viewing info

  • Date: Sept. 25 | Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — London
  • Begin time: 1 p.m. ET (foremost occasion set for about 5:10 p.m. ET)
  • TV: Conventional PPV for $34.99 (examine native listings)
  • The way to watch/stream: DAZN (subscribe now)


If Joshua can use his velocity and energy to self-discipline Usyk early or outright cease him, all of the speak concerning the Ukrainian’s wizard-like boxing expertise shall be moot. However it’s probably within the second half of this battle, ought to Usyk set sufficient early traps earlier than approaching late, that issues would possibly get attention-grabbing.

It isn’t as if Joshua, who has essentially the most embellished resume of the highest heavyweights and may be its most well-rounded performer, is unable to field or execute a sport plan. Making it really feel like an all-or-nothing situation of knockout or bust is unfair. But on the similar time, the mixture of Usyk’s smarts and Joshua’s famous vulnerabilities make it exhausting to low cost the underdog’s legit possibilities.

For no matter Usyk lacks in bulk or one-punch energy, he is daring sufficient to battle within the pocket due to his velocity, swiveling protection and correct mixtures. The stress Usyk applies by doing so can produce fatigue, particularly for a extra muscle-bound large man like Joshua, who has endured enormous stamina dumps in large fights together with when he was pressured to stand up off the canvas to complete Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.  

Ought to Joshua tire from Usyk bringing the battle to him with out AJ making him pay for it, that is when the champion’s unpredictable chin would possibly come into play. Usyk is correct sufficient together with his energy pictures {that a} fatigued Joshua might discover himself in hassle. The truth that Usyk proved throughout his unimaginable run to the undisputed cruiserweight championship that he can rise to the event in large moments — together with his majority resolution unification win in opposition to Maris Briedis — may also not be missed.  

Whereas Usyk must keep away from the ending blow all through and present sufficient of a sturdy chin to make use of such a daring model at shut vary, Joshua is not as bodily of a fighter compared to Chisora, who was in a position to maintain and maul Usyk — significantly to the physique — and decelerate his foot velocity benefit.  

If Usyk has the battle of his life, it nonetheless may be an uphill battle in convincing all three judges provided that AJ’s fights inside deafening soccer stadiums resemble rock live shows. However Usyk is expert sufficient to tug it off.  

Decide: Usyk through SD12 

Who will win Joshua vs. Usyk? And which 3-1 prop wager do you have to be throughout? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise’s best bets, all from the CBS fight sports activities specialist who has nailed among the 12 months’s largest fights, and discover out. | Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk battle predictions, odds, professional picks, undercard, preview, date


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