Former WBA Intercontinental champion, Peter Oboh, has said Anthony Joshua is better than Oleksandr Usyk, as the duo get set for a rematch on Saturday (tomorrow).
In September 2021, Usyk defeated Joshua with scores of 117-112, 116-112, 115-113 to become the new unified world heavyweight champion.
Oboh, who is also a former British and Commonwealth champion, said Joshua needed to reclaim his titles from the Ukrainian in a convincing manner, in order to regain the respect he had lost after his defeat to the former cruiserweight champion.
He added that Joshua must return to the form that gave him victory over dreaded opponents like Wladimir Klitschko.
“Joshua is a natural heavyweight and Usyk, a natural cruiserweight who moved up in weight to beat Joshua. They have contrasting styles. Usyk is faster while Joshua relies on physical strength.
“To me, Joshua is better than Usyk, if he is at his best. It is not a matter of style but ability to give a good fight. Joshua needs to use his raw strength to get through fights with smaller opponents. The Joshua in the first fight against Usyk is not the same that fought with Klitschko. He needs to rediscover his old form to reclaim his titles,” he said.
He added, “With my experience in boxing, a lot of smaller fighters are fast, so Joshua should put the Ukrainian under pressure and unleash more blows than he gets. Joshua is bigger, so, he needs to take advantage of that to overpower him. I am sure Joshua’s camp would have scouted a smaller sparring partner before this fight.”
He said that changing of camp rather than coach would help Joshua in the fight. “He changed camp to America and that should have helped him to focus more and hopefully he would rediscover his old form just like it has helped some other boxers in the past.
“If Joshua comes with a quiet or subdued performance, Usyk will outpunch him. Usyk is more confident now, so Joshua must go for a knockout. The pressure will get Usyk tired to reduce his speed.
“It is win or bust for Joshua so he needs to put the right steps forward as he cannot afford to lose because he will no longer be in contention. However, a win could set up an epic fight against fellow Briton, Tyson Fury.”