Oleksandr Usyk has made a prediction about the outcome of a fight between Anthony Joshua and Deaontay Wilder.
This is a heavyweight matchup that has been much talked about. Both men were world champions for many years concurrently but never managed to agree on a fight before both lost their titles.
Wilder lost two of his three fights in a trilogy with Tyson Fury and has fought only once since against Robert Helenius late last year. That first-round knockout win doesn’t represent great preparation for a high-level ring return.
Joshua, meanwhile, lost back-to-back fights with the former undisputed cruiserweight champion turned unified heavyweight king Usyk in 2021 and 2022. Both fights went the full 12 rounds and saw Joshua surrender his WBA, WBO and IBF belts then fail to win them back in the rematch.
Since those bruising losses, he has fought twice this year, knocking out Robert Helenius in August in the seventh round having had a 12-round points win over American Jermaine Franklin before that in April.
Joshua and Wilder will now fight on the same night – just not against each other. On December 23 ‘AJ’ will take on Otto Wallin, whilst Wilder will face Joseph Parker on a stacked card in Saudi Arabia.
Usyk was recently asked on his YouTube channel who would win should the two big hitters come together and is leaning towards ‘The Bronze Bomber’.
“It would’ve been a phenomenal match. Wilder’s unique – if he clips, one is unable to fight back. I’m going with Wilder on 60% for the contest. He’s a puncher and Joshua could be set on. Deontay’s able to send someone flying when he touches them. They usually have the flight.”
It’s expected that if the pair get through their respective match-ups next month they will finally come together in the ring in 2024.