Bob Arum has no faith that Anthony Joshua ever beats Usyk
On September 25, Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-2, 22 KO’s) lost his second professional prizefight to Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13 KO’s). Along with collecting his second “L”, Joshua was also separated from his four titles. Naturally, AJ was disturbed by this jarring sequence of events and sought to right some wrongs in his camp. In an effort to do that, Joshua famously went on an American tour scouting for a new potential chief second. Top Rank founder and big boss Bob Arum has zero faith any new changes will alter how Joshua performs against Usyk.
For Arum, the learning curve that AJ would have to undergo in the short period of time that he has for the rematch will be wholly insufficient. That’s not to say the legendary fight hustler thinks less of Joshua. Instead he has the ultimate faith in the former undisputed cruiserweight champion’s boxing skill and acumen.
“Listen, whatever option he takes, whatever new trainer he gets, he ain’t going to beat Oleksandr Usyk! Now, not next year, ever beat Usyk! Usyk is too smart for him, Usyk is a southpaw. Joshua is not going to learn, in six months, what he never learned [and that’s] how to fight a southpaw. So it is what it is, but if he thinks it’s going to improve his chances, let him do it!”
SECOND TIME A CHARM?
Like anything in life, there will be those who do and don’t agree with Arum’s tally of the situation. Going into the first Usyk versus Joshua dustup, there were countless individuals who thought that Usyk would outbox the UK darling. Ultimately this turned out to be the case. The one catch here is the fact that Joshua was outclassed while trying to outbox the Ukrainian which is what most believed was his absolute worst possible game plan.
There really was never any question who had the better skillset. That is, and always was, Usyk. The main riddle was: ‘can AJ use his size and power to overcome the Ukrainian?” Sadly we never got a chance to see. Even in his defeat though, despite a few rougher patches, AJ was never completely rag-dolled or completely embarrassed. This is precisely why a new trainer, and better game plan, could prove to be a night and day difference in the rematch. So unlike Arum, if AJ snags a new trainer, there will be countless folks checking in to see if Joshua can bounce back from adversity for the second consecutive time.
By: Bakari Simpson