Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua 2: UFC legend gives his two cents

  • Tom Ward

Anthony Joshua will need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to win his rematch against Oleksandr Usyk, a UFC legend has claimed.

A second consecutive defeat could be career ending for the British superstar, said former champion Michael Bisping.

AJ, 32, is set to take on Usyk, 35, again later this month in an attempt to regain his heavyweight belts.

The Brit lost the belts as the Ukrainian put on a boxing masterclass at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

ALL THE INFO: Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk 2: Date, Card, UK Start Time, Ring Walks, Tickets, Live Stream, Odds and More

But Bisping, the former UFC middleweight champion, reckons the chances of that happening are slim at best.

He said on his YouTube channel: “I don’t think it goes down much different than the first one.

“All the people, all the pundits, the so-called experts, they’re all saying well Joshua is the bigger man. He’s got to bully him, he’s got to use his size, he’s got to use his strength. What do they mean?

Anthony Joshua is set to rematch Oleksandr Usyk this summer

“Of course you want to kind of corner him, you want to lean on him, you want to slow him down, you want to limit the movement of the smaller, faster guy, the nimble guy.

“But you can’t clinch for too long and if Joshua goes forward and tries to be too aggressive again that might leave him open to counters.

“Usyk has incredible footwork so if you’re trying to corner him you know a couple of feints won’t do. That is what Usyk has got to do. That’s what he’s got to try and do.

“Joshua is going to have to try and cut the cage off – the ring off pardon me – he’s going to have to cut the ring off. Back him up into the corner and try and get him there and fight him there. Try and clinch a lot but of course we know the referee will break that up pretty quickly.”

And while Bisping may be supporting his fellow countryman, he wouldn’t be surprised if the result went the other way on the night.

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He added: “I think Joshua is going to come in extremely motivated. He’s going to come in with a fantastic gameplan. I think he’s going to do a lot better.

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“Maybe I’m wrong and I want Joshua to win but I wouldn’t be mad if Usyk won because of what they’ve got going on over there.

“But I just don’t see a path to victory. Usyk showed himself to be the better boxer, to have the better footwork, to have the higher fight IQ, if I’m honest. And I say that as a fan of Anthony Joshua so don’t f***ing go mad at me all you British boxing fans.

“The common knowledge is a good big one beats a good small one and that’s true but I think the level of skill that Usyk has is far greater to dispell that myth or that common logic.

“And Usyk’s not exactly small. He’s not a f***ing welterweight is he? He’s still a good size, he’s a big man, he hits hard enough to have Joshua respecting him as well.”

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