Boxing tips: Joshua v Usyk betting odds and predictions
Jack Green makes his prediction as world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua takes on Oleksandr Usyk in London.
Joshua v Usyk odds
Anthony Joshua faces one of the toughest tests of his career to date on Saturday night as he takes on Oleksandr Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Usyk is a former undisputed cruiserweight champion and is currently ranked fourth on The Ring pound-for-pound list.
Having beaten world champions Mairis Breidis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew on the way to hoovering up all five cruiserweight belts, the Ukrainian stepped up to heavyweight in 2019 and beat Dereck Chisora on points last time out.
That fight moved him to 18-0 for his career and set him up for this meeting with Joshua, who is looking to build towards a mega fight against Tyson Fury for the undisputed heavyweight title.
Joshua beat Kubrat Pulev by ninth-round KO last time out in December, and before that avenged the only defeat of his career against Andy Ruiz.
The WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion now has a 24-1 record, including 22 knockouts, and is the favourite for Saturday night’s fight.
Usyk, meanwhile, is to cause the upset.
Joshua v Usyk predictions
With a unification fight against Fury on the horizon, Joshua simply can’t afford to lose this bout.
Questions were raised around his focus after the defeat to Ruiz in June 2019, when his mind may have been elsewhere due to making his US debut against a seemingly beatable opponent.
He was back on form against Ruiz in the rematch and in the following fight against Pulev, so it’s hard to see Usyk getting the better of the Watford man if he’s at his best this weekend.
Other than Wladimir Klitschko, Usyk is the best technical boxer that Joshua has faced to date, and he has the engine to go all 12 rounds here quite comfortably.
He was never a massive puncher even at cruiserweight, though, and didn’t come close to stopping Chisora in their fight last year.
It’s unlikely that Usyk will have the power to trouble Joshua, and the Englishman’s four-inch reach advantage means he should be able to keep his opponent at bay with his excellent jab.
The question, then, becomes whether Joshua will end the fight inside the distance.
Although Joshua has been a knockout artist for his entire career, Usyk has barely been rocked in 18 fights and has the footwork to stay out of serious trouble, at least in the early rounds. His endless stamina means he won’t be a stationary target late on, either.
Joshua recently named his win over Ruiz – where he boxed at range and won comfortably on points – as his finest performance to date, and it looks likely that he’ll once again aim to keep out of range, build a wide advantage on the scorecards and leave this fight unscathed before turning his attention to Fury next year.
Joshua to win on points