Can Anthony Joshua get his Heavyweight belts back this weekend against Oleksandr Usyk? Don't bet on it
Will the "Rage on the Red Sea" be better for Anthony Joshua than "The Perfect Storm"?
But not according to Ukrainian boxing promoter Alex Krassyuk.
Krassyuk thinks that fellow countryman Oleksandr Usyk will once again come out victorious this Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as the duo competes for all four belts held by Usyk: the WBA (Super), the IBF, the WBO, and the IBO titles.
Right now, Usyk is listed at -205 to retain the four belts, while Joshua is a +150 underdog.
Here is what Krassyuk has to say about the fight, and who he thinks comes away as the victor:
AJ overthinks everything and that’s what costs him as a boxer
“The weak thing about AJ that we know is that he is a very thorough thinker. He likes to think over everything. He likes to think a lot about how not to make a mistake. That takes time and energy and that’s something he should not do in the ring because in the ring a quarter second equals the result.”
Usyk has a focus like Rafael Nadal when it comes to boxing, none of the outside noise distracts him
“I don’t know if you have read Rafael Nadal’s book? He draws the line of the tennis court and puts his conscious inside this square and everything outside of it he’s not interested in until after the match. So he stays focused. His conscious and focus are on the ball and he stays focused until the end of the match.
"It’s the same with Usyk. He keeps his focus within the ring, within the rectangle and everything outside of it he’s not interested in. He comes to ring the and sees the ropes and the square that he has to work with, everything behind the ropes is not of interest to him.”
Robert Garcia is a good trainer, but even he isn’t good enough to change AJ’s mindset
“Robert Garcia is a very well known, very determined and professional trainer. And he has great experience in bringing guys to success, but he does not have experience with heavyweights. But that does not matter much because you cannot teach AJ anything new because he’s more than 30 years old. It’s more about bringing out his advantages, pushing down his weaknesses. Mentality cannot be changed by a trainer. Your mentality is something you receive when you’re born and is formed in your family, in your childhood, at school and at college. This is what forms your mentality; your teachers, your friends, your relatives.
"When you're 30-years-old, like AJ, you have a completely formed mentality. So I don’t think this is a big chance he can change much in mentality, but it does not mean Joshua has no chance.”
AJ is a brilliant boxer but Oleksandr Usyk is on another level of experience compared to him
“I think Joshua’s very strong and has huge advantages like power, size, height, reach; he has a very, very good punch, a straight punch that can knock a horse out. He’s very dangerous, but he does not have the same experience as Usyk, he had just 45 fights in amateurs; he became European, World and Olympic champion - a huge success, but not a huge experience.
"With Usyk it’s different, Usyk had almost 300 fights and that’s what makes him so confident. He comes from the school of boxing and also became European, World and Olympic champion. The achievements are more or less the same. But the experience behind Usyk is different. Usyk has not got that kind of reach, size and power as AJ has, but Usyk has his own advantages like speed, footwork, boxing IQ, determination, a brave heart and experience in his life - dealing with danger and dealing with fear - that’s what makes him even stronger.
"This fight is more interesting than the first one because AJ now has the experience of facing Usyk and he probably has something in mind.”
This story is in association with Vegas Insider