Oleksandr Usyk has said he has no fears about Anthony Joshua’s power as he prepares to challenge the Brit at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday night (Joshua 2/5, Draw 20/1, Usyk 9/4 – bout winner).
Joshua will put his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles on the line this weekend as he tries to improve his legacy at the top of the sport.
Usyk (11/2 to win by KO/TKO/Disqualification) will fight for a world heavyweight title for the first time, but he is no stranger to elite honours, with the Ukrainian a former cruiserweight world champion.
Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora were outclassed when coming up against Usyk, but he has never fought anyone of Joshua’s size.
Usyk will defend his unbeaten 18-fight record in north London, and he says he has no fear about the power his opponent will carry.
He told Sky Sports: “I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone. I’m very grateful for the support I receive and everything else, but people place way too many expectations on athletes.
“This is because many of them don’t really understand what happens in the ring and how difficult or, on the contrary, easy it is.
“We’ll probably find out in the first round which will prevail: power or skill. No, it doesn’t annoy me [questions about size], absolutely not.
“Like I said, there’s a lot people don’t know, see or understand.”
Joshua (11/4 to win on points) believes Usyk is “jumping in at the deep end” by fighting him, but he knows he needs a good performance if he wants to unify the division against Tyson Fury in 2022.