Fight night is just around the corner and we cannot wait for the huge heavyweight clash to go down. Anthony Joshua will put his WBO, IBF, and WBA belts on the line to face Oleksandr Usyk, a man who steamrolled over Derek Chisora in his last fight and has an unbeaten record of 18 bouts. There’s no shortage of excitement for the big fight, with many boxing betting fans labeling the bout as the toughest one for AJ.
The Ukrainian is a very intelligent boxer, moves fast with quick feet, and has deadly power, but it will be a huge step-up after his UD over Chisora back in October. Bookmakers are favoring AJ to win the fight and retain his titles, with odds set at -303. Usyk’s odds are priced at -200 and considering how fickle heavyweight bouts can be, it’s safe to say that anything is possible when dealing with devastating one-punch power.
Usyk is probably one of the best cruiserweights of all time. His last cruiserweight title fight against Tony Bellew was an impressive display of boxing IQ and ended with a devastating TKO. AJ will be the biggest test of Usyk’s career, especially when considering that he is fighting a bigger man, with a reach disadvantage of 10cm.
Joshua will need to control the tempo of the fight and use his jab to his advantage to keep the Ukrainian away. However, Usyk is nimble and his natural southpaw stance could be troublesome for the Brit. Keep in mind that Charles Martin, the former IBF world heavyweight champion was knocked out in the opening rounds against AJ, which proved that Joshua didn’t struggle against a powerful southpaw. According to Joshua, ‘Southpaw makes no difference’, but Usyk is a different animal and an upset is well on the cards.
We expect the first few rounds to be cagey, with both fighters feeling each other out, without risking much. Does Usyk have enough power to knock out Anthony Joshua? Perhaps. But Chisora took a good beating from the Ukrainian and finished the fight on his feet. We’ll see how AJ’s chin hold’s up when it’s tested on the 25th of September. Joshua likes to throw a couple of power punches to test his opponents in the first round and boxing betting fans are well aware that it only takes one clean connection on the button for it to be lights out. That’s the beauty of the heavyweight division. It could all go wrong in a split second.
Size does matter in heavyweight boxing and AJ could prove to be too powerful for Usyk, who’s relatively new to the division. The size difference combined with the reach advantage that AJ has could be the deciding factor. Both fighters are incredibly talented, with Olympic Gold medals to both their names, but it’s going to come down to who wants it more. We are leaning towards AJ on this one.
This is where it gets interesting. Boxing betting fans know that to find value bets in any fight, you must study both fighters, their form, their previous fights and what’s at stake. The stakes couldn’t be higher for both fighters. Joshua could potentially be dethroned as the heavyweight champion in front of a home crowd, while Usyk risks having his untainted boxing record compromised and a long shot from another world title fight in the heavyweight division.
Anthony Joshua is a younger and more experienced fighter than Usyk, stronger and has the power to knock out anyone in his way. Odds for AJ to win by way of knockout are set at -111, which is not a bad price considering he has a KO percentage of 91.67%. Joshua is expected to be slightly heavier than the Ukrainian on fight night, making the KO or TKO all the more possible. Joshua’s last four wins were split between to stoppages and two fights going the distance. Betting on AJ to win the fight on points is a good option and has great value, with odds priced at 330. A small wager on AJ to win by UD combined with a slightly larger bet for him by KO or TKO is the safest option, if you’re looking to back the Brit.
Usyk took the cruiserweight division by storm, toying and destroying anyone who crossed his path. He’s now moved up to heavyweight and this is his opportunity to go down as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Before we delve deeper into the odds, keep in mind that every time Joshua’s chin was tested with a clean shot, he hit the canvas. AJ is not invincible, as we clearly saw against Andy Ruiz in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. Dillian Whyte had rocked AJ and hurt him badly in the early rounds, Klitschko had dropped Joshua to the canvas and Ruiz beat him by way of knockout.
If you’re looking to back Usyk and looking for an adventurous bet, a win by knockout will potentially return $350 from a $50 bet. With odds priced at 600 and considering the fact that Usyk dominates his opponents, a small wager makes sense. Betting on The Cat to win by unanimous decision has odds set at 340 and on paper, it seems the most likely, should Usyk win the fight.
Experts are predicting AJ to emerge victorious on the 25th of September but he needs to be in the right state of mind, focused and composed as he did against Pulev. Any subpar performance or anything besides his A-game will not be enough. Usyk is an incredibly dangerous fighter with fast feet, powerful hands and a boxing brain to match. His reach will be his ultimate disadvantage and we have no doubt that AJ was working on his powerful jab leading up to the fight, with the hope of keeping Usyk away and opening him up for a straight right.
Live betting is a great way to get a feel of the fight before placing a wager on it. The first two rounds will be a clear indication of which direction the fight’s heading and it will be the perfect time to place your bet. Odds change quickly in live betting, so be sure to keep your phone or laptop handy in order to place your wagers in time.
Pro tip: If one of the fighters’ eyes starts to get swollen, it will be the perfect opportunity to bet on him to lose the fight by stoppage. Fighters tend to aim for injured areas, which means they will keep aiming for the swollen eye. The towel is usually thrown in if the fighter's vision is impaired.
Even though Usyk is an extremely dangerous fighter, we cannot see Anthony Joshua lose the fight simply because of his sheer power. We are unsure of how The Cat will react to Joshua’s power or when he’s on the receiving end of a barrage of punches. Usyk has been tested before, but how will his chin hold up if it’s hit with a clean right?
It’s a very close one to call, but our money is on AJ to win by way of knockout.