OLEKSANDR USYK is the ‘best boxer Anthony Joshua will ever face’, according to the Ukrainian’s former opponent Tony Bellew.
The ex-undisputed cruiserweight champion will challenge unified heavyweight king AJ at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 25.
And Bellew, who was stopped by Usyk in the eighth round of their fight back in November 2018, has warned Joshua about the incredible skills the 18-0 man possesses.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “This will be the best boxer Anthony Joshua will ever face in his career.
“When it comes to natural, pure boxing, Oleksandr Usyk is the most natural boxer Anthony Joshua will ever face. He is unbelievable at what he does.”
After beating Bellew three years ago, Usyk moved up to heavyweight but has fought on just two occasions since then.
After a routine win against American Chazz Witherspoon, he then had his first real test in the blue-riband division against the all-action Derek Chisora.
And while he had to overcome some tough moments, Usyk secured a unanimous decision victory.
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Along with the win, he retained his WBO mandatory slot for Joshua’s belt and is now receiving his opportunity.
But Bellew believes the AJ fight could well be a step too far for Usyk.
“He [Usyk] is not a true heavyweight,” Bellew added. “Everyone keeps going on, yes he is a cruiserweight, but he is the greatest cruiserweight who has ever put on gloves.
“So he does come with an amazing skill set, but I just think weight divisions exist in boxing for a reason.
“Come rounds seven, eight and nine, he is going to find out why he is not a true heavyweight.
“I think Anthony Joshua’s speed, power and perseverance will be what catches up with Oleksandr Usyk.
“I wish he would stop fighting my friends because I want to support him! I’m a huge admirer of him and I have so much respect for the boy, but he just keeps fighting my friends so I can’t support him.”
If AJ gets the job done, he will look to set up an undisputed clash against fellow Brit Tyson Fury, who holds the WBC strap.
That is providing Fury can get past Deontay Wilder in their trilogy clash on October 9.
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