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

With the time for speaking nearly over coming into Saturday’s heavyweight championship bout pairing unified titleholder Anthony Joshua towards former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, most likely essentially the most outstanding half is how little has been truly 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 quick on headline-filling phrases whereas displaying 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, recognized for his dry comedic fashion, has chosen to not present his playing cards forward of the combat. All of his interviews have been quick and awkward, in actual fact, particularly when requested how he’ll overcome the scale 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 fascinated by that, whether or not he seems slim or tall or no matter,” Usyk told IFL TV. “We’re going to see on Saturday night time.  

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 Even outdated women in my nation know who he’s.” 

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

“All of life, it is recreation,” Usyk stated. He was simply as glib when requested how he thinks he can pull the upset towards 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 significantly better. He has seemingly deflected all particular questions aimed toward Usyk’s distinctive talent set as intelligent boxer and tactician to as an alternative give attention to why he wasn’t keen to keep away from a compulsory problem towards such an completed foe.  

“I like throwback fighters,” Joshua stated after Thursday’s remaining press convention. “I am not a serious historian as a result of I spend plenty of time training. I do not actually combat good fighters as a result of I need folks to respect me. It isn’t sophisticated. If you happen to informed me I used to be combating King Kong, I might be there full. That is my job and truthfully, it is a blessing. I 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 frightened? So long as I can get up the following day and be pleased and blessed, what’s there to fret about?  It is about taking over 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 towards 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 towards 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 choice six months later).  

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

Battle card, odds

  • 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, mild 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, mild heavyweight

Viewing info

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


If Joshua can use his pace 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 doubtlessly within the second half of this combat, ought to Usyk set sufficient early traps earlier than approaching late, that issues may get attention-grabbing.

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

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

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

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 fashion at shut vary, Joshua is not as bodily of a fighter compared to Chisora, who was in a position to maintain and maul Usyk — notably to the physique — and decelerate his foot pace benefit.  

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

Choose: Usyk by way of SD12 

Who will win Joshua vs. Usyk? And which 3-1 prop guess 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 yr’s greatest fights, and discover out. | Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk combat predictions, odds, undercard, skilled picks, preview, date


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