Johnny Nelson has made an audacious claim about beating the current Heavyweight champion.
The former WBO cruiserweight king has been retired for 17 years.
Nelson, who is now a pundit for Sky Sports, was on Bournemouth beach earlier this week, chatting to Boxing Social’s Ayman Khan about the showdown between Chris Billam-Smith and Isaac Chamberlain.
The pair meet at Bournemouth International Centre on Saturday, atop a Boxxer-promoted card, with the Commonwealth and European titles held by 31-year-old ‘CBS’ at stake.
And Nelson was in good form, stating that he wants to see a good fight while refusing to pick a winner.
That’s one thing, but another that was completely out of the blue was ‘The Entertainer’s’ claim that he would defeat Oleksandr Usyk.
Speaking to Boxing Social, Nelson boldly claimed:
“I’d have beaten him,
“I’d have outboxed him and it would have been pretty easy. I would have had the right movement and anticipation against him and would have been able to throw instinctive shots.”
Usyk, from Ukraine, is a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, having cleaned up every belt in the 200-pound division before moving up to heavyweight.
The Olympic gold medallist amateur, who has a record of 19-0 with 13 quick finishes, now holds the WBA Super, IBO, IBF and WBO world titles in the sport’s premier division after dethroning Anthony Joshua last September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
“I think the mistakes Anthony Joshua made against him were that he was trying to be sure of the shot he was throwing before throwing it and in doing that, that’s why he didn’t throw the shots when he wanted to because when he set it off Usyk would move.”
“Usyk pressured him with the feet to make him work at a pace and pressured him into a position that he didn’t want to be in.”
Joshua will get the chance to become a three-time global ruler on August 20 when he rematches Usyk, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK, at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s a great fight and I don’t think it’s an impossible ask for Anthony Joshua, even though it’s a tough one.
“It’s an intriguing fight and Saudi Arabia once again gets the chance to see these boys in action.”
Joshua has boxed in the Middle East before. After losing the world titles the first time around, at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. at Madison Square Garden in New York back in June 2019, the Brit reclaimed the crowns with a 12-round unanimous decision win over the California-based Mexican six months later at the purpose-built Diriyah Arena in Diriyah.