Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua rematch predictions
by Kate Rosindale on Aug 23, 2022
A panel of Sky Sports experts have given their predictions ahead of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk's big rematch.
And it is all square in terms of who is backing Usyk (19-0, 13 KO) and who is putting their faith AJ (24-2, 22 KO).
In Usyk’s corner is ex-boxer Carl Froch, who says the Ukrainian will be ‘too clever’ for Brit AJ.
He said: “I do side with Usyk just because of the confidence from the first fight and he's the champion.
“But you never know with boxing… If Joshua has the engine and the fitness to put it on him from the first round to 12 and sustain it the whole way, I don't know if Usyk can put up with that kind of pressure.”
US boxer Mikaela Mayer also believes Usyk will come out on top.
She said: “Joshua made a lot of mistakes in the first fight with Usyk. The main one being he had a pawing jab instead of a stiff one. I want to see Joshua step up and fight Usyk back with stiff hard jabs and finishing with hooks.
“However, it's hard to change up after so many years of doing the same thing. If AJ makes the proper adjustments, he could always score a knockout as well, but I just don't see him winning on points.
Former boxer Matthew Macklin agrees that Usyk could be the victor, describing him as ‘the safer bet’.
He said: “I think whatever happens it'll be a knockout. I don't think it'll go 12 rounds. I think either Joshua gets him out of there inside six or he'll run out of gas in trying and he'll end up getting stopped late himself. I think the intensity that Joshua needs to reach to get the win isn't sustainable over 12 rounds.
“I think the safer bet is Usyk. I was pretty strong on Usyk before I came out here. But everything Robert Garcia said to me made me see how Joshua could win this. This is a lot closer than what I initially thought.”
The last pundit to back Usyk is football pundit Jamie Carragher.
He said: “I think Usyk will come out on top. Tactically Joshua got it badly wrong in the first fight.
“Anthony Joshua tried to be technical and not use his strength and power, where he's got a huge advantage over Usyk. But I still think Usyk is too cute, too clever and he will come out on top.”
Carragher’s old rival and Sky Sports colleague Gary Neville has, perhaps unsurprisingly, gone against his prediction and believes AJ will take the fight.
He said: “In that first fight AJ didn't throw his punches did he? He didn't come out and go for it with that extra strength and extra power that he has.
“I think he's going to come out and go for it all guns blazing and go for it and he's going to do it!”
Former boxer Johnny Nelson is backing AJ.
He said: “We saw what happened last time, the tactics were wrong. He even admits that. The public are saying he needs to throw the kitchen sink at him. You can't just throw the kitchen sink at him. It's got to be educated pressure. He's got to be a bully.
“The devil's in the detail. If Anthony Joshua can stick to the plan, I say Anthony Joshua stops Oleksandr Usyk in the mid rounds.”
Lawrence Okolie predicts his fellow British boxer AJ will have the edge.
“I believe AJ gets it done in impressive, impressive fashion.
“The occasion, the energy leans towards a real rock 'em sock 'em kind of fight and as you can see by them standing next to each other AJ's got clear physical advantages and I think he'll get it done.”
Another British boxer, Frazer Clarke, agrees.
He said: “There's a lot of people out there talking about Usyk being so good and this and that. He is very good. There's no doubt. He's a great fighter. But he's a human. If AJ hits him on the chin more than once, he's only human, he goes down, he probably doesn't get back up.
“This could be Britain's greatest night of heavyweight boxing. I feel like everyone's putting him as a massive underdog and he might just get outboxed for 12 rounds. But you'd be daft to bet against him.”