Anthony Joshua’s chances of defeating Oleksandr Usyk are slim, according to Tyson Fury.
Unified heavyweight world champion Joshua, 31, is set to face former undisputed cruiserweight king Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.
While the 31-year-old is a two-time world champion and currently riding a two-fight winning streak, Usyk, widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, has been tipped to upset the odds by Fury’s co-promoter Bob Arum.
And WBC heavyweight champion Fury, who last month revealed he will fight Deontay Wilder again on July 24, believes Usyk can pull off a major upset.
“Now they’re left with Joshua stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Fury said to the Daily Mail. “I don’t think they fancy the Ukrainian guy for the fight he needs in August.
“And with their DAZN deal, it looks now as if that will be their last fight with Joshua.
“Usyk is a southpaw, clever, technically very good. He’s smaller as a former cruiserweight champion but he handled Derek Chisora, who is physically tougher than Joshua.
“So while I’m absolutely confident of beating Wilder, I’m not so sure about AJ not losing his fight.”
Joshua, 31, has won a respectable 24 of his 25 professional fights, with his only loss coming against Andy Ruiz Jr back in 2019, having avenged his defeat to Ruiz Jr by beating the Mexican in Saudi Arabia in December 2019.
Since then, he has been actively campaigning for a fight with Fury, although the Gypsy King has been ordered to fight The Bronze bomber for a third time, which has effectively all but ended any chances of the fight happening anytime soon.
Asked recently who would win if both men were to meet in the middle of the ring, Joshua insisted he would be the man to emerge victorious, citing an infamous sparring session at Finchley Amateur Boxing Club in 2010.
“I was hungry then and I’m even hungrier now,” Joshua said to The Guardian. “There was a Rolex [on offer then] but now there is an even bigger pot of gold at the end of this rainbow and I want to take his head off his shoulders when that fight happens. I’m sure that I’ll win.”