Anthony Joshua's fight against Usyk was EASIER than Ruiz Jr and Brit could have won with two tactics, says Witherspoon

OLEKSANDR USYK was an easier opponent for Anthony Joshua to beat than former heavyweight champ Andy Ruiz.

Slick southpaw Usyk ended Joshua’s second reign as unified heavyweight champion with a boxing masterclass at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September.

AJ failed to effectively make use of his height, reach and power advantages over the former undisputed cruiserweight champion.

And former Usyk foe Chazz Witherspoon reckons the Tottenham tussle was stylistically an easier fight for the Brit than his ill-fated meeting with Andy Ruiz Jr in June 2019.

He told SunSport: "I think the Ruiz fight was the harder fight, the Usyk fight was [an] easier fight for Joshua to win.

"He may have felt fighting against Usyk was going to be easy.

“Usyk gave him more of a fight than he had anticipated."

Witherspoon believes Joshua would be gearing up for a Battle of Britain with Tyson Fury had he utilised more defensive footwork and set-ups for his big right hand.

He said: "The fight was so easy to win all he needed was somebody to show him some basic defence.


“He should have drilled the right hand, it’s kind of hard for me to explain, but I could show him. I could show him practically.”

Witherspoon, who welcomed Usyk to the heavyweight division in October 2019, also believes Joshua wasn’t his usual confident self before the dust-up.

The American added: “He lacked confidence for some reason or he felt it was going to be an easier fight for him. Usyk came to fight!

“He was prepared to fight a southpaw and using the right hand.

“But there’s much more to this than just throwing the right hand.

“He needs to also get on the outside of his lead jab, southpaw’s right hand.

"Get outside and go in. I can tell you that not a lot of boxers do that.”

Joshua, 32, will bid to rip the unified titles from Usyk’s clutches in a potentially do-or-die rematch early next year.

A date for the pair’s second dance hasn’t been finalised, but promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed the bout is in the works for the spring.

The Matchroom Boxing chief said: “I think it will be realistically end of March, early April.

"Both guys are probably resting, although AJ will be doing a bit more preparation because he wants to get it right.

“There was a well-documented trip to America, just to look really, look, learn and see.

"I think he will go back out there towards the end of the year.

"We will start talking to Team Usyk over the next couple of weeks and pin down the venue."

Joshua is hellbent on exacting revenge on his fellow London 2012 Olympian, telling iFL TV: "For me, I have one thing in my mind – that’s war, that’s murder, that’s to go out there and hurt the guy and take his soul to the point where he wants to give up.

“I’m done with f***ing losing. I’m done with trying to learn the sweet science. He might get thrown on the floor in the next fight because this is war.

"It’s just straight war, I’m annoyed. I’m boiling up even speaking about it – it’s that passion to win.”


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