Deontay Wilder has backed Oleksandr Usyk to beat Anthony Joshua in their rematch at the Jeddah Super Dome on August 20.
Joshua is due to face Usyk for a second time this year after losing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts on an unanimous points decision in front of a sell-out crowd at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September last year.
Wilder has backed Usyk to beat Joshua against – despite the fact AJ has freshened up his training team, parting company with former coach Robert McCracken and joining forces with new esteemed cornerman Robert Garcia.
Deontay Wilder has backed Oleksandr Usyk to beat Anthony Joshua in their rematch
Speaking to Elie Seckbach while on a video call with trainer Malik Scott, Wilder said: ‘I’m going with Usyk here man.
‘I’m going with Usyk. I think a lot of people are. It’s boxing at the end of the day, so we’ll see, but I think it’s Usyk.’
Wilder has previously praised Usyk and even said he wasn’t surprised the Ukrainian boxer stopped Joshua during their fight in September 2021.
When asked if he was shocked at AJ’s conclusive points defeat, Wilder told BT Sport: ‘I wasn’t at all, I wasn’t at all. Malik Scott always talks about Usyk and how skilful he is. Especially coming up from cruiserweight.
Joshua is due to face Usyk for a second time this year after losing his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts on an unanimous points decision in September last year
Since then, AJ has freshened up his training team, parting company with former coach Robert McCracken and joining forces with new esteemed cornerman Robert Garcia
‘He definitely had his struggles in the heavyweight division with Chazz Witherspoon and Derek Chisora. But styles make fights and with Joshua, he just had his number at that point in time.’
Tyson Fury shares the same opinion as Wilder, claiming Usyk is ‘too smart and quick’ for Joshua.
The Gypsy King said: ‘Joshua can obviously land a big punch, but I just think that Usyk’s too cute for him. Too smart, too quick, and a southpaw.
‘And I think that [new coach] Robert Garcia trying to train him to be on the front foot or whatever and be aggressive will only enable Usyk to land more often.
‘I just don’t see it, but then again, what do I know? Nothing about boxing. I’m heavyweight champion of the world, undefeated all of that stuff.
Despite changing his coaching team, Wilder does not think AJ has what it takes to beat Usyk
Tyson Fury shares the same opinion as Wilder, claiming Usyk is ‘too smart and quick’ for AJ
‘Anyone can win a fight as we’ve seen many, many times and it’s a good time to beat Usyk now isn’t it?
‘Because [his country] have been at war. Everything’s up in the air. If ever he was ever gonna be off his ball, now would be the time.
‘But I just think Usyk’s too good of a boxer for AJ and I don’t think AJ’s got the ability to pressurise him for 12 rounds, drag him into a dog fight and knock him out.
‘You have to be an elite special human being for that and I don’t think Joshua possesses that will to win to do that.
‘He’s too easily happy to come second position. If you’re willingly setting for second, say no more.’
Nevertheless, Joshua remains confident in his abilities despite admitting Usyk ‘bust his ass’ during their first fight.
Joshua believes he has what it takes to overcome the Ukrainian boxer despite admitting Usyk ‘bust his ass’ during their last fight in 2021
AJ said: ‘With Andy Ruiz, I think a lot of people can see before the fight things weren’t 100 per cent.
‘But you’ve got to be strong and thick skinned, we take our loss like a man, because when I win I keep it moving, I think everybody, and if I lose you’ve got to stay humble as well in defeat. So I kept it moving and I knew I could come back again and do what I have to do.
‘The fight with Usyk, he bust my ass for some rounds and I have to take that defeat like a man as well. But I hold myself accountable, I’m someone who can admit when I’m wrong and hold my head high when I’m right.
‘In the fight in September I was wrong and he was right, and simply I have to reverse that role August 20.’