Former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is a high-risk fight for Anthony Joshua and punches hard enough to command respect despite his perceived lack of size, according to leading trainer Peter Fury.
WBO No.1 contender Usyk is expected to face WBA Super, WBO and IBF champion Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
Having cleaned out the cruiserweight division, Ukrainian Usyk stepped up in weight but has failed to set the heavyweight class alight with two workmanlike wins over Chazz Witherpsoon (WRTD7) and Dereck Chisora (W12).
Three inches shorter than Joshua with a four-inch reach disadvantage, the talented Usyk appears a small heavy in comparison. But coach Fury, who steered nephew Tyson to a win over unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, believes Usyk presents a significant threat to ‘AJ’.
“He’s very dangerous,” Peter Fury told Sky Sports. “It’s not a walk in the park. Forget cruiserweight. This guy, he’s had a couple of fights in the heavyweight division, he’s adjusted, he’s put the necessary weight on. He’s a serious heavyweight and a serious talent, so it will be a good fight. Of course, he has [the power to earn Joshua’s respect].
“[Usyk is] an accurate puncher and anybody in the fight trade knows when you’re in that body weight bracket, when you’re punching correctly, any punchers can do damage. [Usyk] belongs in the division and he’s a serious threat. It’s a serious fight. Full credit to Joshua for taking that fight.
“I think it will ultimately be a battle of skills, because you can’t run into danger. It’s a fight that I’m looking forward to see. It’s a great fight, a good match-up.”