VIDEO: Oleksandr Usyk Begins Mind Games With Anthony Joshua

Published 08/28/2021, 6:22 PM EDT


Undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is now all set to fight Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight throne. The two are now scheduled to face off at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25. As the two prepare for a 12-round battle, the Ukrainian boxer has already initiated the mind games.

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He recently shared a brief message for the two-time heavyweight champion while riding a bike.

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Hey Anthony, have a good day!” said Oleksandr Usyk.

While this might seem like a short and pleasant message, this is not the first time the Ukrainian champion has shared something like this. Before fighting Derek Chisora, he posted a short video of him canoeing and shouting out “Derek – Hello!“.

He would later go onto make his heavyweight debut against Chisora, outbox him and win via unanimous decision.

Can the undisputed cruiserweight champion dominate the two-time heavyweight champion?

Is Oleksandr Usyk a threat to Anthony Joshua?

According to FanDuel, Anthony Joshua is currently the favorite at -280, which means it will take a wager of $280 to see a profit of $100. Whereas, Oleksandr Usyk currently sits as a +205 underdog, despite being undefeated.

While the odds are stacked against the Ukrainian undisputed cruiserweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk is, by no means, a weak opponent. As an amateur, he fought 105 times, won 88, and lost 16 of those. His last amateur fight was against Clemente Russo at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, where he showed world-class movement, footwork, and smart striking.

As a professional boxer, he has fought 18 times, has won all of them, and remains undefeated. The undisputed cruiserweight did not shy away from taking on the toughest challenges against the likes of Murat Gassiev, Tony Bellew, and Chazz Witherspoon. He made his heavyweight debut in 2020 against Derek Chisora and won by unanimous decision.

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While his debut in Anthony Joshua’s division did not look very impressive, he still showed great movement and speed that is uncommon amongst fighters in that weight class. That is what makes him competent, dangerous, and challenging inside the ring.

He was able to outbox Chisora, who usually relies on his knockout strength to dominate his opponents. However, Usyk might find it difficult to apply his ‘stick and move’ approach against Anthony Joshua because of the agility in his movement and footwork.

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How do you see this fight playing out?

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Sanjit Misra

251 articles

Sanjit Misra is a boxing author at EssentiallySports. Sanjit fused this passion for writing with his love for jabs, hooks, weaves, and uppercuts and entered the realm of boxing journalism. The elegance, the science, the techniques, and the finesse of hand-to-hand combat was what initially drew him into the world of boxing.

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