On September 25, 2021, a boxing event will take place at Wembley Stadium in London, organized by the promotion company Matchroom Boxing. The leader of the heavyweight category (over 90.7 kg), 31-year-old Briton Anthony Joshua will defend his WBA Super, WBO and IBF titles. The obligatory contender for the World Boxing Organization is 34-year-old Ukrainian Aleksandr Usyk.
Bookmakers have already included the event in the line. Gambling operators consider the Briton favourite. PaddyPower is among those bookmakers and a review of the operator is presented at https://bookmaker-ratings.com/review/paddy-power-review/. The odds for Joshua to win are around 1.44. As for the Ukrainian triumph, the chances for such an outcome are within 3.00.
Although there are no defeats on the account of Aleksandr Usik, he only had two fights at heavyweight. His technique is the forte of a boxer.
Anthony is the reigning champion and has long ruled the division. In addition, the Briton has an advantage in size and striking power.
It was originally planned that Anthony Joshua would fight Tyson Fury. However, just a step away from signing the contract, the megafight was disrupted. The reason for this was the lawsuit filed by Deontay Wilder. The American judicially achieved a rematch with Fury. Therefore, the leadership of the World Boxing Organization ordered Usyk to start negotiations, since the boxer has long been a mandatory contender for Anthony.
The British boxer became an Olympic champion in 2012. He has been performing in the ring at a professional level since 2013. Joshua has 25 fights on his record, 24 of which ended in his victory. In 2019, the Briton lost to Andy Ruiz Jr. with a knockout. However, in the rematch, Anthony easily dealt with the Mexican, regaining all the titles. To become the undisputed world champion, Joshua lacks one belt, which Fury currently owns.
But even without the WBC title, the boxer is considered the leader in the heavyweight category. Anthony focuses on ease of movement and boxing from a distance while maintaining punching power. This is evidenced by the fact that 88% of his fights ended in knockouts. Among the defeated rivals are Wladimir Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte, Kubrat Pulev.
As for the Ukrainian, he has dreamed of a duel with Joshua for several years. For Aleksandr Usyk, the fight is the most significant in his professional career. This is evidenced by the statement of his promoter Alexander Krassyuk.
“For Usyk, this is the [most important] fight of his life, so he prepares for it with full concentration. He approached as professionally as possible because while the negotiation process was going on about the fight for the interim championship, while we were working over these processes, doing our promotional work, Usyk wasted no time.
He focused on functional physical training, building up muscles. In my opinion, he coped well with this task”, Krassyuk summed up.
In October 2019, Usyk defeated Chazz Witherspoon via RTD, and a year later beat Derek Chisora by points. In total, the Ukrainian boxer has 18 professional fights, all of which ended with Aleksandr’s victory. He was the undisputed world champion in the cruiserweight division (up to 91 kg), and also won the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Among the defeated rivals of Aleksandr are Murat Gassiev, Marco Huck, Krzysztof Głowacki, Thabiso Mchunu. The Ukrainian managed to gain a victory via stoppage in 13 battles.
Aleksandr weighs less than Anthony and is shorter. He also does not have the necessary power to knock out heavyweights. Usyk’s main advantages are striking speed and footwork. There is another factor that can play in a fighter’s favour: endurance. Aleksandr is in good shape and can exhaust the opponent.
It also became known that the legendary World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko will help Usyk in the training camp. Perhaps his experience will add to the challenger for belts some skills.
Prediction for a fight
Even though many believe that Usyk’s chances to win are higher than the bookmakers say, his triumph remains a questionable topic. It is too early to tell if Aleksandr adapted to heavyweight. We must not forget that the Ukrainian boxer had a huge number of amateur fights.
The jab of an opponent can be a problem for the fighter. In addition, the British arm span is 10 cm longer than that of the title contender, and Joshua will certainly take advantage of this.
Defence is not Aleksandr’s strong point, and the Briton puts a colossal destructive force into his blows. Therefore, if the champion does not get tired, he isn’t going to miss the victory. So it remains to follow the news from the rivals’ camps and changes in the odds in the bookmaker’s lines.