• August 1, 2021

Exclusive: Tony Bellew says Anthony Joshua is the best heavyweight athlete of the past 20 years and Oleksandr Usyk won’t last with him

 Exclusive: Tony Bellew says Anthony Joshua is the best heavyweight athlete of the past 20 years and Oleksandr Usyk won’t last with him


Oleksandr Usyk appears to be next for Anthony Joshua.

Eddie Hearn told talkSPORT that the heavyweight clash will go down on either September 18 or 25 and at Wembley or at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

It’s not the fight the fans really want but Usyk vs Joshua will be an intriguing watch

It’s not the fight the fans really want but Usyk vs Joshua will be an intriguing watch

AJ’s friend and cruiserweight legend Tony Bellew finished his career by losing to Usyk as the Ukrainian went on to unify the division.

Now that he’s stepped up to heavyweight, he’s defeated Dereck Chisora by unanimous decision and finds himself the WBO’s mandatory challenger.

Speaking to talkSPORT at Matchroom Boxing’s launch of Fight Camp, Bellew explained why he thinks Joshua, the best athletic heavyweight of the past two decades, would be too much for Usyk.

“I know exactly how good Usyk is. He’s an amazing talent. Best fighter I ever fought. But I don’t believe he’s big enough and dangerous enough to cause AJ problems. 

Usyk knocked out Bellew in November 2018

Getty Images – Getty

Usyk knocked out Bellew in November 2018

“Well, he’s big enough to cause him problems, I don’t think he’d last long enough to defeat him. But, he will cause problems while he’s standing and he’s [AJ] going to have to get rid of him. He’ll put the pressure on, make him pay for every single thing he earns in there.

“AJ is the best athletic heavyweight I’ve seen in the last two decades. As an athlete, mate, he’s unbelievable. He’s an unbelievable specimen, he really is. The power he can move at, the speed he can move at, the dexterity; it’s unbelievable. 

“He’s on another level to everybody else. He’s just got to keep improving on that boxing IQ, which he is. He showed that against Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch. How unbelievable he was. 

“In the Pulev fight, he went back a little bit and showed the old things he was doing and the way he broke down the big men with the speed that counts. 

Bellew has high praise for AJ

Bellew has high praise for AJ

“But then he’s going to have to show something different against Oleksandr Usyk again. He’s going to have to box at times, put pressure on and he’ll have to get hit as well. 

“So he’ll have to show different things that he hasn’t done in his career so far, but then again, he’s always improving, always getting better and it’s just fantastic to see,” Bellew said.

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury were set to fight on August 14 in Saudi Arabia, but this has been scrapped

Getty

Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury were set to fight on August 14 in Saudi Arabia, but this has been scrapped

Of course, that’s the running argument when discussing AJ taking on Tyson Fury.

AJ has the physique and athletic abilities, in addition to a hard punch. Fury is the smart boxer with serious ring IQ that can make things awkward and difficult for anyone.

Fury takes on Deontay Wilder on July 24 in Las Vegas. If he wins and Joshua overcomes Usyk a couple of months later, the undisputed heavyweight title fight must just be back on and that’s certainly the goal for both parties.





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