The one apparent benefit that Anthony Joshua would appear to have over Oleksandr Usyk going into their title struggle Saturday in London is pure measurement.
Joshua, who holds three of the 4 main titles, is 6-foot-6 and fights at 240-plus rounds. Usyk, a compulsory challenger, is a cruiserweight champion-turned-heavyweight who’s 6-3 and weighed 217.25 in his final struggle.
However, Joshua doesn’t dismiss Usyk as a blown-up 200-pounder. The Ukrainian’s handlers have declared that Usyk has grown into the division and the champion is inclined to imagine them.
“A full-fledged heavyweight doesn’t mean weighing like 200 kilograms or 300 pounds,” Joshua stated on a zoom name Wednesday, three days earlier than he meets Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on DAZN. “It’s identical to in case you can bodily deal with them in sparring. One [sparring partner] goes 4 rounds then one other will get in and one other one will get in.
“Can you still push and shove heavyweights for 12 rounds when they’re fresh? They must see he’s well-conditioned, that he can handle the pressure from heavyweights. They must know exactly how he’s getting on in training, so I can’t go against what they see.”
Usyk (18-0, 13 KOs) has had solely two fights at heavyweight, a seventh-round knockout of journeyman Chazz Witherspoon in October 2019 and a unanimous choice over longtime contender Derek Chisora a yr later.
Usyk didn’t dazzle anybody within the Chisora struggle however, Joshua stated, he acquired the job carried out.
“He stopped Chazz, which was a good showing, stopping a full-fledged heavyweight, a big guy,” Joshua stated. “And his struggle with Chisora was a troublesome one. Chisora provides quite a lot of guys issues. He overcame 12 rounds and acquired the choice.
“In boxing, you have to put that behind you, and they fight us Saturday. That’s what he was interested in, right? Well done to him. You gotta get past certain fights no matter how you look so you can move on in boxing.”
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) was requested whether or not solely two fights within the new division was sufficient to organize Usyk for the problem he’ll face on Saturday.
He responded by saying that, ideally, Usyk would have had extra time to regulate to the largest males within the sport. At the identical time, he understands why the challenger and his advisors need this struggle on the present time.
“They talk about [former cruiserweight Evander] Holyfield a lot,” Joshua stated. “I believe he had six warmup fights earlier than he fought Buster Douglas for the title, which is vital. You can’t rush within the heavyweight division.
“But, then again, you know, Holyfield was 25 when he came up to the heavyweight division so he had a bit more time to develop. Usyk’s like 34, so he hasn’t got enough time to have six warmup fights and get ready. They want it now.”
In the top, Joshua respects Usyk for the braveness the naturally smaller man has to step into the ring with him.
“Let’s give Oleksander Usyk credit as well because I wouldn’t want to be in the ring with me,” he stated. “If I have been Oleksandr Usyk, [if] I might be trying throughout the ring, I swear to God I wouldn’t wish to be within the ring with somebody like me. I’m very aggressive.
“Good luck to him on Saturday.”