Oleksandr Usyk doesn’t hit hard enough to command the respect of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and is heading for a knockout defeat in their September 25 showdown, according to former WBA heavyweight king David Haye.
WBA Super, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Joshua and WBO No.1 contender Usyk collide next month at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with some observers feeling the skilful Ukrainian has a chance of pulling off the upset, in the bout broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK.
Two-weight title holder Haye doesn’t foresee that outcome and believes former cruiserweight champion Usyk’s inability to stop or stun a dogged Dereck Chisora (then managed by Haye) last October shows he is ill-equipped for the behemoths of the division like the hulking, 6ft 6ins Joshua.
“I think [Usyk’s] style might be very effective if AJ was 6’2″ and 14st,” Haye told Sky Sports. “But AJ isn’t. AJ is 6’6” and he’s an absolute specimen and he’s one of the best athletes ever in the heavyweight division. That just spells knockout defeat for Usyk.
“If Usyk was the future of the heavyweight division, and he’s going to be good enough to beat AJ, he should have at least stopped Derek Chisora or won by a landslide. But he didn’t. He wasn’t able to keep the heavier man off him. He didn’t have the firepower. I just don’t see AJ having any problems.
“I’ll tell you exactly what punch it’s going to be – a jab, right hand and then a straight jab again. The jab will knock out Usyk. He will knock Usyk out with a jab.
“You can be as fast as you want, but the speed isn’t bothering the big guy. Usyk’s power and speed didn’t bother Chisora. To beat the big men, the big monsters at heavyweight, you have to have a big punch to get their respect, keep them off you.
“Usyk doesn’t have the firepower to keep the big men off him, so the big men are going to be on him when they choose to. I can’t see any version of reality that AJ loses this fight. He looks devastating, really quick, really fast.”