Anthony Joshua will have a lot of things to worry about when he takes on former cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk.
Usyk, who is three years his senior, is older and arguably more experienced than Joshua, despite having fewer professional fights.
Interestingly, both fighters turned professional in the same year, although Usyk boasts considerable amateur experience over the younger Joshua.
Prior to turning professional, Usyk retired from amateur boxing with a record of 335−15. Joshua on the other hand had an amateur record of 40-3.
Joshua (24-1, 22 KOs) will also be fighting a southpaw for the first time since he knocked out Charles Martin in 2016 and Usyk's promoter Alexander Krassyuk notes that the American that Joshua beat to win his first world title isn't in the same league as the Ukrainian is talent-wise, and he could be in for a big shock.
"Joshua only lost once, but Joshua faced a southpaw only once when he first became world champion," he said during a conference call.
- Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk: Date, Odds, Tickets, Stats, Live Stream, Card And Everything You Need To Know
"Let’s be fair, Charles Martin was lucky to get his belt without victory because his opponent was injured and didn’t make it to the end of the fight.
"Eddie Hearn was very smart to get that fight for AJ and make him world champion.
"That was his only experience as a professional facing a southpaw, but he’s never faced a skilled, high boxing IQ southpaw, and I think it’s going to be the biggest challenge for AJ."
Fresh off his victory over Dillian Whyte, it was announced that Joshua would face Martin at the O2 Arena in April 2016.
Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs) was making the first defence of the belt that he won after beating Vyacheslav Glazkov for the vacant title in January that same year.
Joshua won the fight by KO in the second round, taking his record to 16-0 and winning the IBF heavyweight world title aged just 26.
Reflecting on that defeat, Martin claimed that a combination of injuries and a lack of adequate preparation had negatively affected his performance on the night.
“Joshua never fought the real me," Martin told Sky Sports.
“Taking that fight when I was hurt and unprepared is the biggest mistake of my life, but it’s a mistake I’m gonna correct before I retire.
“It’s the only reason I’m still fighting.
“Knocking out Dillian Whyte would put me one step closer to Joshua.”News Now - Sport News