Alex Krassyuk is predicting a difficult evening for Oleksandr Usyk later this week.
The man behind the unified heavyweight champion spoke to Boxing Social’s man on the ground in Saudi Arabia Ayman Khan as the fight week proceedings got underway.
Usyk defends his WBA Super, IBF, and WBO world titles against Britain’s Anthony Joshua on Saturday at the Jeddah Superdome.
The return comes 11 months after last September’s first clash between the pair when former undisputed cruiserweight champion Usyk dethroned ‘AJ’ at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
And Krassyuk believes the Ukrainian, 35, has an altogether different challenge on his hands this time around.
“My prediction is that Usyk will have to go through hell in the first six rounds because AJ is going to put all his efforts, power and size, everything he has, he will put in the ring to destroy Usyk.”
“That’s why Usyk has to be very cautious and use his boxing IQ to do his job according to the plan.”
Joshua is looking to become a three-time unified heavyweight champion, having previously regained his belts in the kingdom following his shock defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. back in June 2019.
There have been calls from various people in the build-up to the fight for Olympic champion Joshua to hang up the gloves if he suffers a third defeat of his glittering professional stint at the weekend.
But Krassyuk doesn’t buy into that narrative, insisting that the 32-year-old still has plenty to offer the sport’s premier division, with the pair also vying for Tyson Fury’s recently-relinquished Ring Magazine title.
“I completely disagree with anyone who claims AJ is down and worth nothing. I consider him to be one of the biggest threats in the heavyweight division at this moment and in the future.”
“He has proved that in the past and he will try to prove it this Saturday night. He has a lot to lose and this is a do-or-die fight for him and I don’t think he will take this fight lightly.”
“He is a man with a big heart who has a lot behind him so I think this fight will be a much more difficult fight for Usyk than the first one.”