Former world champion Anthony Joshua was “delighted” by the arrival of Oleksandr Usyk in the Heavyweight. According to Joshua, the presence of Usyk has become a new color in the heavyweight competition which has been dominated by Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.
Joshua himself became a long-term target for Usyk who wanted to add a world champion belt in the Heavyweight after he had previously become the ruler of the Explorer Class. Usyk himself is a mandatory challenger on WBO. Before challenging Joshua, Usyk will first make his heavyweight debut against Chazz Witherspoon on Sunday morning WIB.
And, Joshua will fight back to win back his WBA, IBF and WBO champion belts deprived by Andy Ruiz Jr., in a duel on December 7. “Joshua was very happy when we signed the duel contract with Usyk, he was happy to see him fight in the Heavyweight division,” said boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.
For Joshua, Usyk’s figure is not a foreign opponent. The reason is, as an amateur, Joshua also had the same battle at the Olympics. So, he was quite understanding about Usyk’s figure.
“Joshua often sees Usyk in amateurs and he is never afraid to fight with anyone, so he will be ready to fight Usyk,” Hearn said. “Usyk is a mandatory opponent and must show that he is ready to fight (champions) from this division,” he continued.
A year ago, Joshua had warned about Usyk’s debut plan to go up to Heavyweight.
“Usyk needs to go up at the right stage, and find out what it’s like with a 17 or 18 stone man (boxer weighing over 100kg) who can hit hard,” Joshua said.
“I know he has amateur experience and has done well in the Exploration Class but if he rises to the heavyweight division, it will also test his will as well as his skills,” he continued.
On the other hand, Usyk, last month, told Sky Sports that his dream fight was “Anthony Joshua at Wembley”. “I think it will be far more difficult for me to fight Joshua than Ruiz Jr. If you want to be the best, you have to fight for the best,” he said.