Oleksandr Usyk, the current heavyweight world champion holding the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles, has stepped up to defend his previous adversary, Anthony Joshua, against the barrage of criticism aimed at the British boxer.
In 2021, Usyk dethroned Joshua, claiming his world titles, and then solidified his victory by defeating him once again in their 2022 rematch.
Joshua faced severe backlash from fans following his lackluster performance against Jermaine Franklin in April. Despite securing a decision win, the victory was deemed unconvincing, marking his first triumph in over two years.
Prior to the Franklin fight, ‘AJ’ had suffered consecutive losses, surrendering his heavyweight titles to Usyk in September 2021 and failing to reclaim them in their subsequent rematch in August of the following year.
As Anthony sets his sights on a highly anticipated showdown with Deontay Wilder in December. Fans and pundits alike have been vocal about their skepticism regarding his chances of success. Many believe that Joshua is facing an uphill battle against the formidable Wilder.
Usyk blasts naysayer questioning credibility
However, Usyk, the man who shared the ring with Joshua twice, vehemently disagrees with the harsh criticism being directed at his former opponent. He asserts that the critics are being too harsh and that Joshua should not be underestimated.
Usyk’s defense of Joshua adds weight to the notion that the former champion possesses the skills and determination to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
In response to the criticism aimed at Anthony, Oleksandr urged the detractors to experience the challenges of the boxing ring firsthand. Suggesting that they should step into the squared circle themselves.
“If you want to talk about the fighter, you have to at least once in your life get into the ring and get a sparring session. At least for one round, for three minutes. Then you will have the right.”
Originally, Usyk was slated to engage in an undisputed heavyweight title clash against Tyson Fury on April 29. However, much to the disappointment of fans, the fight failed to materialize.
As a result, Oleksandr has redirected his focus towards defending his WBA belt against mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois in August.
Joshua needs time to recover according to Oleksandr Usyk
Meanwhile, Joshua’s next move has been a subject of speculation, with rumors swirling about a potential rematch against domestic rival Dillian Whyte.
Oleksandr told Boxing King Media: “I think he just needs a little more time to recover.
However, ‘AJ‘ swiftly refuted these claims, going on a peculiar social media tirade to dismiss the fight talks. The enigmatic rant, initially shared but subsequently deleted, added an air of mystique to Joshua’s future plans.
Leaving fans and pundits intrigued about what lies ahead for the former champion. What are your thoughts regarding this? Let us know in the comment section below.