Heavyweight contender Michael Hunter is giving Oleksandr Usyk a very good shot at pulling off the upset on September 25, when the Olympic gold medal winner will challenge IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO champion Anthony Joshua at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Usyk unified the entire cruiserweight division in 2018, when he defeated Murat Gassiev to win the first season of the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament.
The Ukrainian was a very impressive force at cruiserweight, but his performances have been lacking since officially moving up to the heavyweight division in 2019.
Back in October, Usyk got the toughest test of his career when he overcame a very physical battle to win a twelve round unanimous decision over division veteran Derek Chisora.
Two of the three judges gave Usyk the win by only two rounds, with 115-113 tallies.
Hunter, who lost a twelve round decision to Usyk at cruiserweight in 2017, says his former foe has everything necessary to beat the bigger man.
“I don’t think Anthony Joshua beats Usyk unless he knocks him out. This is heavyweight boxing, so there’s always going to be knockouts. He’s [Usyk] strong enough, and he’s an Olympian and all that. He has the accolades and attributes to do so," Hunter told IFL TV.
“I just think Usyk is a little bit too fine-tuned for him [Joshua]. People are always going back on the Chisora fight because he didn’t look so good. But I think that was more of a ‘styles make fights’ type of thing. It’s in his favor to box somebody like Anthony Joshua, in my opinion."
And to land that knockout punch, Hunter explains that Joshua will have to land something that Usyk simply doesn't see coming.
But landing that punch won't be easy - so Joshua will have take some chances, says Hunter.
“You have to hit Usyk with something very sneaky when you’re that tall and that dynamic with Usyk and Anthony. We know Anthony Joshua’s sneaky move is the uppercut, but that’s going to be a very rare punch to hit Usyk with," Hunter said.
“We know that Usyk is very defensive-minded, and he’s not there to engage. He’s there to get the points and win. So it’s going to be a very difficult feat and challenge for Anthony Joshua. It’s not going to be as easy as moving with [Kubrat] Pulev or Andy Ruiz in the second fight.
“He’s not going to have that advantage. So I think he [Joshua] should go for broke or something. They’re fighting, so there’s definitely a chance if they get in the ring. So we’ll see."