Johnny Nelson believes Anthony Joshua will be able to beat Oleksandr Usyk in the pair’s rematch.
The heavyweight giants meet on August 20 at the Jeddah Superdome in Saudi Arabia, exclusively live on Sky Sports in the UK.
Usyk 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.
But Olympic champion ‘AJ’ gets his opportunity to get revenge over the Ukrainian former undisputed cruiserweight champion, having cleaned up every belt in the 200-pound division before moving up to heavyweight, in a money-spinning second fight later this month.
And Nelson reckons Usyk was slightly bewildered at the atmosphere last time out and has called on Joshua to make the champion uncomfortable all over again.
Speaking to Sky Sports at ringside in Bournemouth International Centre while watching Chris Billam-Smith’s 12-round points win over Isaac Chamberlain as he retained the European and Commonwealth cruiserweight championships, Nelson said:
“Look at the last fight. Look at the state of Usyk when he came out. Usyk looked like he’d been hit by a bus even though he won and AJ lost.”
Nelson himself is a former WBO cruiserweight world champion who has been retired for 17 years and he recently made a bold claim that he would outbox Usyk if they had ever met.
“AJ now has to go in and do what he does, go in and fight his fight.
So let’s see if there’s a difference. Use that height, use that range. Use that ruggedness about him.
“If he uses that, I cannot see him losing. Yes, the hullabaloo is there about Oleksandr Usyk but he is beatable. It can be done.”
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.