Oleksandr Usyk Says Spirit Overcame Size in Anthony Joshua Rematch
When two-time heavyweight champion Anthony “AJ” Joshua (24-3, 22 KO’s) initially lost to Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KO’s), many felt that it was the style he utilized that was his undoing. Rather than trying to rough him up, Joshua unsuccessfully set out to outbox the master tactician. So, in their immediate rematch, the Londoner was determined to use his bulk to swing the war in his favor.
This stratagem did work for a while. Yet in the end, the craftier Ukrainian consistently outwit and out-worked AJ. It was not all fun and games for Usyk though. He did have to dig deep to survive some turbulent moments himself. Ultimately, the wild-eyed Ukrainian defended his WBA Super, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles. When asked later what he thought the difference in the fight was, Usyk supplied a somewhat curious answer
“So the reason that the belts are coming back to the Ukraine is because Anthony Joshua didn’t use his size advantage to the end. Size doesn’t matter when you are fighting. That was a real war, a genuine war in the ring. And size is not that important. This is where the real spirit works.”
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
Certainly this will be a bitter pill for Joshua to have to swallow, but Usyk speaks the truth. In their duel, the difference largely boiled down to the Ukrainian being willing to go to a darker place than AJ was willing to. In the savage realm of the ring, Joshua held too fast to his manners and didn’t embrace the brutal nature of his task nearly enough. His humanity and decorum branded him with a third loss and kept him barred from champion status.
While AJ was evidently not up to the task, this doesn’t mean that Usyk is impervious to defeat. Perhaps WBC heavyweight champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury (32-0-1, 23 KO’s) could take the belts from the unified champion. In his post-fight interview, Usyk called out The Gypsy King with vigor. Not only is this an intriguing match-up, it would crown the undisputed champion of the division. So let’s hope that Fury, who’s recently been playing Hokey Pokey with retirement, signs on to the historic bout without much nonsense.
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By: Bakari Simpson