The heavyweight boxing scene explodes back into life later this month when Anthony Joshua takes on Oleksandr Uysk on September 25th.
The two fighters will meet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in England in a world title showdown. Joshua’s four world title belts (WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO) will be on the line.
The fight will be Joshua’s second defense of the belts since he reclaimed them from Andy Ruiz Jr in December 2019.
In boxing betting, Joshua goes into the fight as the favorite with the best sportsbooks. He is just -275 to beat his Ukrainian opponent.
Challenger and outsider on the Moneyline, Uysk is +300 to win the bout. A draw is +2300.
The method of victory Moneylines suggests that if Joshua is to win, it will be by knockout.
They also suggest that an Uysk victory will come via points, rather than a knockout or stoppage.
For Joshua to win by KO, TKO, or DQ, Bovada make him -110. While for the Englishman to win by Decision or Technical Decision, he is +333.
In the case of Uysk, he is a massive +700 to win via KO, TKO, or DQ. For the Ukrainian to win via Decision or Technical Decision, he is much shorter at +275.
With the Covid-19 Pandemic resulting in a shut down to boxing for most of 2020, there isn’t a great deal of recent form to go on.
Towards the end of last year, events did start to take place, so let us have a look at how the two boxers have done recently.
This will be Anthony Joshua’s first fight since he beat Kubrat Pulev back in December 2020. Joshua knocked the Bulgarian out in the 9th Round to retain his world titles.
During the fight, Joshua never looked troubled and he was a convincing winner.
Before that fight, the last time Joshua entered the ring was 12 months earlier, when he beat Andy Ruiz Jr.
Joshua won by unanimous decision in another one-sided contest dominated by the Englishman.
That fight was a rematch after Mexican, Ruiz Jr beat Joshua at Maddison Square Garden in June 2019, shocking the boxing world in the process.
For Oleksandr Uysk, this will only be his third fight as a heavyweight.
His previous 16 bouts all took place at cruiserweight, a weight at which he was deemed unbeatable!
The last time the impressive Uysk was in the ring was back in October 2020.
On that night – in his second heavyweight bout – he outboxed the experienced Derek Chisora and won by unanimous decision.
Before the Chisora fight, Uysk was in the ring against Chazz Witherspoon in what was his heavyweight debut. The fight took place in October 2019.
An experienced campaigner in his own right, Witherspoon was comfortably outboxed and retired at the end of Round 7.
The stakes have never been higher for Anthony Joshua heading into this fight.
The Uysk fight is already dangerous enough. But as Joshua knows only too well, one false move in this fight sees an end to his chances of unifying the heavyweight division.
This is because if Joshua comes through this tricky bout, he will take on the winner of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who have their trilogy fight in early October.
Fury is currently the holder of the WBC belt, and both Fury and Joshua did previously think they had a deal in place for a summer showdown in England earlier this year.
That was until Fury was ordered by a judge to face Wilder for the third time.
The plan is for Joshua to beat Uysk, and for Fury to beat Wilder, so the two English men can finally face off in the biggest fight for decades, with all the belts up for grabs for the winner.
At the moment, bookmakers believe Tyson Fury would win such a fight.
Even though there is no guarantee the Fury v Joshua fight will take place, it hasn’t stopped some sports betting sites from making Fury their favorite at -175. Joshua is +137.5.
Back to the main business, and here is my pick for the Joshua v Uysk fight.
Except for the unbelievable Evander Holyfield, cruiserweights have generally struggled against the best heavyweights.
So far Uysk has looked good in his short professional career, and it would be no huge shock for him to outbox Anthony Joshua.
The problem he will encounter though is the reach and sheer physical power Joshua holds.
Can the Ukrainian do enough damage when he gets close enough to land his combinations, and will he be able to avoid getting caught by a big shot from Joshua?
I don’t think he will, and therefore a win for Anthony Joshua is my prediction for this contest.
My pick slightly differs. I’m with the best sportsbooks for this one. I feel if Joshua wins, he wins inside 12 Rounds.
I can see Joshua boxing patiently behind his jab, and not going hell for leather for the knock-out.
But at some point in the contest, I think size will tell and Joshua will stop Usyk by one method or another to win via KO, TKO, or DQ.