OLEKSANDR USYK will permanently scupper boxing fans’ dreams of an undisputed heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, according to Michael Hunter.
The former cruiserweight king is set to throw down with AJ at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
Usyk has yet to turn in a five-star performance since moving up to heavyweight, but Hunter reckons the Ukrainian will spring a huge upset against Joshua.
He told iFL TV: “I don’t think Anthony Joshua beats Usyk unless he knocks him out.
“This is heavyweight boxing, so there’s always going to be knockouts.
“He’s [Usyk] strong enough, and he’s an Olympian and all that. He has the accolades and attributes to do so.
“I just think Usyk is a little bit too fine-tuned for him [Joshua]. People are always going back on the Chisora fight because he didn’t look so good.
“But I think that was more of a ‘styles make fights’ type of thing. It’s in his favor to box somebody like Anthony Joshua, in my opinion.”
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Hunter reckons Joshua will have to tag the elusive Cat with an unexpected heavy shot to retain his unified titles.
He added: “You have to hit Usyk with something very sneaky when you’re that tall and that dynamic with Usyk and Anthony.
“We know Anthony Joshua’s sneaky move is the uppercut, but that’s going to be a very rare punch to hit Usyk with.
“We know that Usyk is very defensive-minded, and he’s not there to engage. He’s there to get the points and win.
“So it’s going to be a very difficult feat and challenge for Anthony Joshua.
“It’s not going to be as easy as moving with [Kubrat] Pulev or Andy Ruiz in the second fight.
“He’s not going to have that advantage. So I think he [Joshua] should go for broke or something.
“They’re fighting, so there’s definitely a chance if they get in the ring. So we’ll see.”
Hunter’s view of Joshua’s latest title defence isn’t shared by WBC king Fury, who recently branded Usyk ‘a pumped-up cruiserweight.’
He told Seconds Out “I don’t believe Usyk is a heavyweight for one.
“I think he’s a pumped-up cruiserweight who struggles with heavyweights.
“In my opinion, Derek Chisora beat Oleksandr Usyk – he certainly struggled with Derek Chisora and Joshua is a much bigger, stronger man than Derek.
“I think he walks straight through Usyk, people are trying to build it up as a scary fight but he didn’t have the power to halt cruiserweights like Mairis Briedis or whoever else he fought.
“So he ain’t going to halt AJ, 260-pounds of pure muscle and 6ft 6in, how’s he going to keep him off?
“He couldn’t hurt Derek Chisora, hit him with his best shots on the chin and he didn’t hurt him, or at least it didn’t look like he’d hurt him.”