"He cannot be written off in any way" - Oleksandr Usyk not overlooking Anthony Joshua in rematch

Oleksandr Usyk (L), and Anthony Joshua (R).
Oleksandr Usyk (L), and Anthony Joshua (R).

Oleksandr Usyk isn't overlooking Anthony Joshua in their rematch later this month.

The two heavyweights first squared off last September at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the U.K. Heading into the bout, 'AJ' was a massive favorite to defend and retain his heavyweight titles. Instead, 'The Cat' flipped the script on him.

The Ukrainian had the performance of his life against Joshua. Usyk outpointed the Brit early and battered him down the stretch. After 12 rounds, he earned a lopsided unanimous decision victory to claim the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.

The two are now set to go toe-to-toe later this month in Saudi Arabia thanks to Joshua activating his rematch clause. The fight itself was put off for quite a bit due to Usyk enrolling in the Ukrainian military. However, he gained clearance to leave the country for the bout.

Despite a war weighing on him, the 35-year-old is a big favorite heading into the fight and is expected to retain his titles. In an interview with Parimatch, Usyk discussed his rematch with Joshua. Despite being a huge favorite, the champion doesn't see it that way.

In the interview, Usyk paid respect to his foe and noted that he can't be counted out. He stated:

"Of course [he surprised me in the first fight]. He is a strong guy and a strong boxer, and he cannot be written off in any way. In the rematch, he will be different. He will prepare differently. I will do that too."

Oleksandr Usyk discusses fighting Tyson Fury

Oleksandr Usyk believes he will fight Tyson Fury.

'The Gypsy King' retired earlier this year after his knockout win over Dillian Whyte. Almost immediately after hanging up his gloves, the WBC heavyweight champion had already begun teasing a rematch.

Fury has been linked with a possible showdown with the winner of Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk 2. For his part, the 33-year-old has shot down that fight. Instead, he's stated that he wants a trilogy with Derek Chisora, whom he's beaten twice.

In an interview with Parimatch, Usyk gave his thoughts on a Fury showdown. There, he revealed that he believes the fight will happen after he defeats 'AJ' for a second time.

In the interview, he stated:

"Yes, when the rematch is over, I think Tyson Fury won’t want to miss an opportunity to unite all of the belts. I think it is possible. God granted that it will be so."

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann