Joshua v Usyk betting tips: Brit ‘hungry’ to KO champion
Odds and preview for Saturday’s heavyweight fight
Anthony Joshua is “definitely hungry, definitely desperate” to become world heavyweight champion again and is seeking a knockout of Oleksandr Usyk in their rematch.
Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) was outclassed last September by his Ukrainian rival, who defied disadvantages in height, reach and weight to claim the WBA, IBF and WBO titles after a clear unanimous decision victory.
Coral’s John Hill said: “It is going to be a huge fight in the career of Anthony Joshua and patriotic punters are confident he is going to reverse the result with Oleksandr Usyk from 2021.
“Usyk is the odds-on favourite in our betting but the majority of the bets we have taken have been for the British boxer.”
Many observers believe Joshua’s best route to victory in the return bout in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on August 20 is inside the distance, using his physical superiority to disrupt Usyk’s rhythm.
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) August 14, 2022
Having linked up with new trainer Robert Garcia, Joshua hinted that is the gameplan but the former two-time world heavyweight champion refused to stoke the fires too much.
“What happened then is in the past, I don’t really live in the past, I’m just present,” he said. “I’ll be looking to be competing round-by-round and if I follow my As, Bs and Cs, it should lead me to KO.
“Someone said to me ‘you’ve got a chance to become three-time heavyweight champion of the world’. I said ‘it’s not where you want to be, I wouldn’t advise anyone young to go down that route’.
“You want to stay there and keep it, so I’m definitely desperate to get my hands on it. (But there’s) too much talking. Less talk, more action. I’m not a comedian, I’m not someone who likes big speeches.
“Let me get in there and do my job, that’s my priority. I’m definitely hungry, definitely desperate but how I perform will speak volumes to the masses.”
While Joshua revealed he was troubled by Usyk’s southpaw stance nine months ago, he insisted there is not much to draw on despite sharing 12 rounds with the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion.
“It’s a rough and tough sport, especially fighting these lefties – they’re a nightmare,” he added. “It is what it is, you’ve got to dig deep, tuck up and not make the same mistake twice, basically.”
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) August 15, 2022
“Every fight’s different. Until you’re in front of someone, no matter how many videos you’ve watched, stare downs you’ve had or press conferences you’ve done, it’s just completely different in the ring.
“Twelve rounds is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s going to be completely different when that bell rings if I’m honest. You can’t take too much away from it, you’ve just got to be in the moment.”
Usyk has won all 19 of his professional contests and helped his native Ukraine with the war effort against Russia, initially putting in jeopardy a second fight against Joshua before being given special permission to defend his world titles against the Briton.
While this will be Joshua’s second fight in Saudi Arabia – he avenged his only other defeat against Andy Ruiz Jr in 2019 in Diriyah with a points win – it will be Usyk’s first in the country.
Usyk said: “It opens some new horizons. I’m not fighting for money or the recognition, many people want the recognition so others remember them. But I don’t need to become the great.
“I’m just doing my job now and I will continue doing it while my heart is beating. The only thing I’m on my way to is to save my soul. Everything else that is happening to me is just life.”
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication