Anthony Joshua is going to have to be more physical and ‘bully’ his way to a win against Oleksandr Usyk when the two face in their title rematch on August 20 in Saudi Arabia.
Usyk is the favourite to repeat a victory over Joshua, but the match will be very different from their first encounter, and former two-weight world champion Carl Frampton has warned against counting former heavyweight champion Joshua out.
“A lot of people are saying Usyk (wins) and it would be hard to disagree with them. It seems like it’s a hard fight for both guys but we know what Joshua has to do to try and beat Usyk – use his size and strength and be a bit of a bully,” Frampton told Sky Sports.
“But the thing that’s worrying me is I don’t think Joshua can do that for very long. That he can’t fight at a high pace and push people around and get close to them for a long fight.
“He needs to do it in spurts and I think when he does have a round where he uses a lot of energy, he has to take the next round off at times. That’s just because of the size of him really, and his build and his make-up.
“But I think that he has to get in close, he has to use roughhouse tactics and impose his strength. A bit like (Wladimir) Klitschko used to be able to do, hit people, push them down and just tire them out. But it’s whether he can do that or not.”
“Usyk’s obviously a very clever fighter. He’d expect a different type of approach from Joshua this time because it’ll have to be,” Frampton said.
“You put a gun to my head (to make a prediction), I’m saying Usyk wins the fight. But I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as a lot of people do.”
One way or another, Frampton is expecting to see a tough matchup that will go the full twelve rounds.
“I think that because of what AJ’s going to have to do in the fight and he was exhausted at the end of the last fight and he was hurting at the end of the last fight as well, I think if he doesn’t get rid of Usyk, I think then he probably gets stopped late himself,” he said.
Usyk and Joshua will meet once more in Jeddah with the WBA, WBO, and IBF championship belts on the line.