Carl Frampton makes his prediction for how Anthony Joshua's rematch with Oleksandr Usyk will play out; "What if his gameplan is right and his mind his right?" BOXXER's Ben Shalom backs AJ; watch Usyk vs Joshua II live and exclusively on Sky Sports Box Office on August 20
Monday 8 August 2022 06:14, UK
Oleksandr Usyk is the favourite to repeat a victory over Anthony Joshua in their epic August 20 rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office. But the fight will be very different to their first encounter, and boxing experts warn against discounting former heavyweight champion Joshua.
"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," former two-weight world champion Carl 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 though is perfectly capable of adapting for the second fight too.
"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 an inside the distance finish.
"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.
"I hope I'm wrong."
'Don't write off Anthony Joshua'
With the Usyk vs Joshua show on Sky Sports Box Office on August 20, a BOXXER fighter could be on the bill.
"We worked really hard to actually make that deal happen," BOXXER's Ben Shalom said. "I'm not the promoter [of this event], it's not up to me where the fight goes but we were very keen that it landed on Sky. Anthony Joshua's a massive thing for Sky, a massive relationship there and they feel like this is the biggest fight of his career. So it's important for it to be on Sky.
"The biggest fight possible on the biggest platform possible and reach as many people as possible. And that's the thing it ultimately came down to."
"As a boxing fan I'll be watching it," he added. "The end of the [first] fight, if you cast your mind back to when the fight happened, the day after or the week after everyone was saying AJ should not go near Oleksandr ever again. 'There's no chance he can beat Oleksandr, it doesn't matter what he does, he's been outboxed.' Now we sit here eight months later and people think it's a 50-50 fight and maybe that's right.
"Maybe because of the changes that Anthony's made to his training camp, to his trainers, to his mentality, maybe that is why this fight now becomes much more even, much more 50-50. I think we all saw that AJ's mind wasn't right and maybe his gameplan wasn't right and his mind wasn't right.
"So what if his gameplan is right and his mind his right? Those are the two big question marks aren't they? So if he can tick those boxes I'm sure he can do it," Frampton concluded.
Anthony Joshua's huge heavyweight rematch against Oleksandr Usyk is on Saturday August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Book Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!