Light heavyweight contender Anthony Yarde spoke with Fight Hype about the forthcoming rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua, and why he believes Joshua has a better chance of stopping Usyk this time.
That is highly dependent on the game strategy Joshua employs, according to Yarde, but he feels that if Joshua leans towards his strengths — such as his power — that may tip the scales in his favor.
“I’m supporting Joshua to win,” Yarde remarked. “Support and whoever is gonna win could be different, but from what I’ve seen of Joshua, he’s got that thing. You know, that thing where ‘ok, you want to doubt me, I’m gonna prove you wrong.’
“What tactics he uses, I feel like that’s what determines the fight. But if I had to sway towards somebody, I would sway towards Joshua. And the reason why I’m going to sway Anthony Joshua is because if he attacks Usyk, Usyk is not going to handle it — if he attacks him.”
“He didn’t (attack in their first fight). He came out here and started pawing (with the jab), like he’s looking for a boxing match. And Usyk said, ‘Yes! Got him!’ Because you can’t out-box Usyk.”
“Joshua is a person that’s still learning boxing. Again, he started late like me, he’s still learning. But when it comes to that thing of rolling your shoulders and swinging, that’s Joshua. So I feel like if he does that in the second fight he’ll stop him.”
Anthony Oluwafemi Olaseni Joshua OBE is a professional boxer from the United Kingdom. He is a two-time former WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO world heavyweight champion, having held the championships twice between 2016 and 2021. From 2015 to 2016, he held the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles.
Joshua competed as an amateur for England in the super-heavyweight event at the 2011 World Championships, winning a silver medal. He also won gold for Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics. He was voted Prospect of the Year by The Ring magazine in 2014, a year after going professional. His victory over Wladimir Klitschko in 2017 was voted Fight of the Year by The Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Joshua is the second British boxer, after James DeGale, to win both an Olympic gold medal and a major professional sanctioning body world title, and the first British heavyweight to do so.
Joshua is listed as the world’s third-best active heavyweight by BoxRec, Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and The Ring as of October 2021, and fourth by ESPN, as well as the seventh-best active boxer pound for pound by BoxRec. He has been listed among the world’s top 10 heavyweights by BoxRec since 2014, and he was ranked first at the end of 2016 and 2017. In world heavyweight title fights, Joshua’s knockout-to-win rate is 91.67 percent, with an overall knockout percentage of 63.64 percent.
Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Usyk is a professional boxer from Ukraine. He has the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight belts since defeating Anthony Joshua in 2021, as well as the undisputed cruiserweight title from 2018 to 2019, becoming the first cruiserweight champion to hold all four major world titles. He is largely recognized as one of Ukraine’s finest boxers of all time. With his victory over Joshua, Usyk joined Evander Holyfield and David Haye as the only boxers to have unified the cruiserweight world belts and become a world heavyweight champion.
Usyk won gold medals in the heavyweight class as an amateur at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. In 2018, he won the undisputed cruiserweight championship in his 15th professional bout after turning professional in 2013. He won three of his titles at the first World Boxing Super Series, including the Muhammad Ali Trophy, The Ring magazine, and lineal cruiserweight crowns. Usyk was chosen the 2018 Fighter of the Year by Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The Ring, and the Boxing Writers Association of America for his accomplishments (BWAA).
After Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, and Terence Crawford, Usyk became the fourth man boxer in history to hold the WBA, WBC, IBF, and WBO belts at the same time in 2018. He was the first undisputed Ukrainian champion. He is remarkable for the speed with which he accomplished his goals, earning his first world championship in his tenth bout and becoming the undisputed champion of his weight class by his fifteenth. Usyk renounced his cruiserweight belts in order to compete at heavyweight in 2019. He has defeated five current or past world champions in sixteen fights until that point.
Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB) as of June 2022, third by the BWAA, fifth by BoxRec, and sixth by ESPN. The Ring, TBRB, BoxRec, and ESPN all rank him as the second greatest heavyweight.