Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua II
A second loss for Anthony Joshua at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk would be devastating for Joshua’s career. He was once heralded as the best heavyweight since Lennox Lewis or Mike Tyson, but he has lost two of his last four fights. Joshua (24-2 with 22 knockouts) just doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct we see in great heavyweights, and that is why the boxing betting odds have Usyk favored in the rematch. Usyk (19-0 with 13 knockouts) controlled the action in his first fight with Joshua, and he has a ton of confidence ahead of the rematch.
Rage on the Red Sea – Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua II will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This fight will be shown exclusively on DAZN in the United States with the main event expected to start around 5:30 p.m. ET. Usyk currently holds the WBO, WBA, IBF, and IBO heavyweight titles, and the winner of this fight will also receive The Ring heavyweight belt.
Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua Fight Betting Odds
Oleksandr Usyk -210
Anthony Joshua +175
Total Rounds: 10.5
For a while, it looked like Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua wouldn’t have their rematch. Usyk joined the Ukrainian Defense Forces shortly after Russia invaded his native Ukraine in late February, and the current heavyweight champion seemed set to spend the next several months defending his homeland. However, he met with the Klitschko brothers in late March, and they told him to refocus on boxing, helping facilitate the biggest fight of the year.
Usyk was a superb amateur boxer, winning the gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics. He turned pro the year after he won gold in London, and he claimed the WBO cruiserweight title three years later. Usyk became the unified cruiserweight champion after beating Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev in the World Boxing Super Series, and he successfully defended all five of his titles against Tony Bellew before making the jump to heavyweight.
Some doubted Usyk’s decision to move to heavyweight, but he proved to be ready for the challenge with his win over Derek Chisora. He was a sizeable underdog in his first fight against Anthony Joshua, yet he controlled the action and outlanded Joshua even though he was at a significant size disadvantage.
Joshua was a gold medalist at super heavyweight at the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was one of the many breakout stars for the United Kingdom, and many boxing observers were calling him the next great heavyweight. He certainly lived up to the hype through his first 20 fights, knocking out all 20 opponents including Wladimir Klitschko to claim the IBF, IBO, and WBA heavyweight titles.
He added the WBO heavyweight belt in March 2018 before his title fight with Andy Ruiz Jr. in June 2019. Joshua was an enormous favorite by the boxing betting odds over Ruiz, but he was knocked down four times and suffered a stunning defeat. Although he easily handled Ruiz in the rematch, that loss proved Joshua wasn’t as formidable as was believed.
Joshua was 20 pounds heavier than Usyk in the first fight and also had the height and reach advantage. However, he just doesn’t seem to have the aggression needed to take it to opponents. That will lead to Joshua overextending to force the issue, and Usyk will be able to effectively counter on his way to moving to 20-0.