Best plays for Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk

If I hadn’t seen Oleksandr Usyk combat Chazz Witherspoon in 2019, I would be filling up on him to beat Anthony Joshua on Saturday in London and win the IBF-WBA-WBO heavyweight titles from him in a bout streamed on DAZN.

However I can’t shake that bout from my memory and how Usyk didn’t appear so achieved versus a shop-worn heavyweight who was never ever actually all that excellent.

Usyk returned and outboxed Dereck Chisora on Oct. 31, 2020, to bring back a few of my faith in him, however it wasn’t enough to exorcise the ghastly memories of the method he looked versus Witherspoon.

Joshua is a substantial favorite at BetMGM. Joshua is -250 to Usyk’s +185, and most of the times, I’d be all over Usyk and taking that plus cash.

Joshua won the very heavyweight gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, the exact same year that Usyk won the heavyweight gold. As a professional, Usyk is 18-0 with 13 KOs and was the undeniable cruiserweight champ. Joshua is 24-1 with 22 KOs and remains in his 2nd reign as heavyweight king.

The essential to the battle will be 2 things: How Usyk offers with Joshua’s power and whether Joshua can efficiently break through Usyk’s defenses. Usyk is a clever, slick fighter who wasn’t simple to strike by cruiserweights, who are as a guideline quicker and more nimble than enormous heavyweights.

Had Usyk not combated Witherspoon and just had actually fulfilled Chisora as a heavyweight, I’d be all over him not just to win at +225, however I’d play him to win by choice at +400.

However I did see the Witherspoon battle and while Usyk won by seventh-round TKO, it was not an excellent efficiency versus a long over-the-hill challenger. At his finest, Witherspoon was no place near as gifted as Usyk — or Joshua — and the battle in 2019 was long past his sell-by date.

So what to make from that? Well, while Joshua has lots of vulnerabilities, I question if Usyk will have the ability to exploit them.

My guess is Usyk battles a greatly protective battle and takes couple of threats. That leads me to think that Joshua by choice is not out of the concern. Joshua by choice is +300 and looks significantly appealing.

So I’ll make 2 bets here, the 2nd to cover myself more than anything. I’ll bet one system on Joshua to win by choice at +300. I’ll likewise bet one system on Joshua by KO/TKO/Technical Choice or DQ at even cash.

Other plays for Joshua-Usyk card

• I’ll take Callum Smith by KO/TKO/Technical Choice or DQ at +125 over Lenin Castillo.

• I think Lawrence Okolie will stop Dilan Prasovic, however Okolie is -3000 to win and -900 to win by KO or TKO, so there is no worth there. So I will play one system on Okolie by choice at +600 and hope that Prasovic in some way endures.

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is a -250 favorite at BetMGM to defeat former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in their title fight on Saturday in London. (Getty Images)

Unified heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua is a -250 preferred at BetMGM to beat previous undeniable cruiserweight champ Oleksandr Usyk in their title battle on Saturday in London. (Getty Images)

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.