The massive heavyweight rematch between Oleskandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua can go one of two ways.
If AJ is to avenge the defeat he suffered last September, then he must disrupt Usyk’s rhythm early on, because if you let the brilliant Ukrainian get into a groove, then the result in Saudi Arabia will be the same as it was in London.
But in Jeddah on Saturday night, Joshua can make the adjustments that are essential. He can impose his size early on and I believe he needs to jump on him, not worry too much about throwing punches in the first few rounds but try to deplete Usyk of his energy.
Because if you go in there recklessly and go in there for a brawl with Usyk, you could end up getting stopped.
But I’m confident in AJ and this mega fight, as I say, can go one of two ways: AJ by knockout or Usyk on points.
AJ is up against a boxing genius, but I really, really want him to win because the man has done a lot for British boxing.
Joshua has been packing out stadiums for fun, he brought big time boxing back to the U.K. and I think we should all be rallying behind him.
And should Joshua gain revenge then he sets up a humungous fight with Tyson Fury later this year.
Fury says he’s retired but I believe he will fight the winner of Usyk vs Joshua. And I hope it’s AJ, because we’ve craved that Fury AJ showdown, which is the biggest fight in world boxing, not just in the UK, it’s the biggest fight in world boxing, for so long. And we’re very close to that; I really do believe it.
But like Peter Fury said: Usyk is a Rubik’s Cube and so Joshua must put on the perfect performance. He can’t slip up. He can’t make any mistakes because Usyk will punish you, he is that good. Joshua has almost got to look at how Marcos Maidana caused Floyd Mayweather problems in their first fight in 2014, and use that as a blueprint.
JALOLOV IS THE FUTURE
Saturday night’s showdown – the Rage on the Red Sea – is the heavyweight present. The short-term future, in my opinion, involves the winner fighting Fury. But the long-term future of the division is also incredibly exciting.
The division is stacked but for the contenders wanting to establish themselves in the top 15 of the world rankings, every single one of those heavyweights will be looking over their shoulder thinking: ‘I do not want to fight Bakhodir Jalolov’.
Jalolov is a monster. I know numerous people that have sparred ‘The Big Uzbek’ and they said that he’s just not enjoyable to be in the ring with. Every shot that he hits you with hurts.
Jalolov has also got good movement. He’s just everything you don’t want to face. And he is the future of the heavyweight division.
Filip Hrgovic, who fights on the undercard in Saudi, is someone I really have a lot of time for, and he’s another monster. I mean, imagine Hrgovic against Jalolov down the line?! What a fight!
I would put Jalolov in the top 10 now. He’s not got a scalp on his record to put him in there, but he would hang with all the top boys, even now, he’s that good.