“Usyk has it all,” Eddie Hearn said IT News in a video released on Tuesday. In a way, the Matchroom Boxing honcho was right. Ukrainian Usyk is heading towards this weekend’s much acclaimed fight with Anthony Joshua with the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles holding him. Usyk will also step into the ring on Saturday in Saudi Arabia knowing that he has soundly beaten Joshua, who will be his opponent once before that day. Hearn, however, made it clear that he doesn’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. “He gets into this feeling as the challenger,” he said of Joshua. “It was AJ’s roadshow for years,” he said. “Now, enter as side B and you are the underdog. People are erasing you. “
It is clear that Hearn sees his “canceled” fighter as a potential motivating factor for former star Joshua. “He has to be smart,” Hearn said of this weekend’s rematch with Usyk. “The key to this fight in my opinion is that once this sixth round goes to the end of the round, this guy has to be out of there or he has to be damaged or in a place he really would never want to go in again.” Then Hearn said something about Usyk that some might fight surprisingly.
“You let this guy get into his rhythm,” Hearn said of the defending title list, “he could be unbeatable.”
Of course, Hearn knows as well as anyone how good Usyk can be. Before taking Joshua’s heavyweight belts for himself last September, the former heavyweight king set up a clinic. The bigger, more decorated Joshua Simple didn’t seem able to keep up. “You let this guy (Usyk) drain you,” continued Hearn, “you allowed this guy to make you do things with his feet that you’ve never done before, you’re not going to win this fight.”
For Hearn, the challenge Joshua faces this weekend is simple, but extremely difficult. ‘You have to hit him hard in the body,’ he said, ‘in the arms, shoulders, neck. You have to damage it … but it’s a very difficult challenge … the key to this fight is those first six rounds. Not only does Hearn want Joshua to win this weekend in Saudi Arabia, he wants him to win decisively.
“I don’t want him to score points,” he said. “I don’t like this fight going to points for Anthony Joshua. He can win the battle on points, but I want him to knock Oleksandr Usyk out because I don’t want him to move around. I want a nice and clean stop where we can all dive into the ring, celebrate and go home with all the belts and that’s what we want ”.
“This is not Andy Ruiz’s rematch,” added Hearn. “This is another level, this fight.”