Nigerian-born world heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Olaseni Oluwafemi Joshua has received full backing to emerge victorious in his December 12 mandatory title fight against Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev and then go on to sink any other opponent that comes his way.
Megasportsarena.com can report that this is the verdict of ace boxer-turned-analyst, Carl Froch, who reckons that ‘AJ’ will get the better of Pulev and then overcome another mandatory challenger in Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, should they get to meet along the line.
Although Joshua appears set to take up the al-British blockbuster bout with Tyson Fury after his mandatory fight with Pulev, Froch is looking at the possibility of a clash with Usyk also happening along the way, but says the London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist, who parents hail from Shagamu in Ogun State, has nothing to worry about.
Froch, who is now a boxing pundit with Sky Sports, stressed that Joshua has nothing to worry about from Usyk should they get to lock fists in the roped square, if the former cruiserweight champ stays on course for a world heavyweight title fight.
The Ukrainian pugilist is World Boxing Organisation (WBO’s) mandatory challenger for Joshua, but Usyk must firstly prove his credentials at heavyweight against British-born Zambian ace, Derek Chisora this Saturday.
Usyk is hoping to emulate a small crop of fighters who have successfully packed on more size to challenge the champions in the top division, although Froch has raised doubts about whether the Ukrainian can collect all of the world titles.
Although the fellow-Brit admits he has been impressed with Usyk’s sublime skills, Froch still went on to question whether the Ukrainian cruiserweight has the size and power to trouble two-time triple belt champion Joshua.
Froch told Sky Sports: “I don’t think AJ will be worried. He will be watching him, probably thinking to himself, ‘He’s not big enough for me. I’ve got size and reach.’ He’ll be quietly confident, AJ, I think.
“I really do think that AJ has got nothing to worry about in Usyk. I need to see how well Usyk performs against Chisora, before I can even mention him in the same breath as AJ. I’m not giving him any credibility at heavyweight yet, because I’ve not seen anything.
“Joshua is not worried about going in there with someone who’s as big and strong as him, who is going to back him up and try to knock him out. If there’s any concern there, he’s more going to be concerned about this technical ability of Usyk and the fact that it might be a bit of a stand-off.
“If it’s going to be a technical duel, then that might be a concern, because Usyk is so technically good, so talented. But I think AJ will be thinking, ‘I’ll just use my size and strength, and after two rounds of a jabbing contest, then I’m going to close him down and step on him.’
“His trainer Rob McCracken will be telling him, ‘Back this kid up, he’s 6’3, he’s not as big, not as heavy and as strong as you.’ He can use his advantages and just squash him, get him out of there.”