Anthony Joshua gives his prediction for Oleksandr Usyk vs Tyson Fury fight – Ring News 24 | Boxing News

Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury

Anthony Joshua 27-3 (24) is expecting a closely contested bout between his conqueror Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) and his domestic rival Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24).

But as much as he covets a fight against Britain’s Fury, 35, he expects 36-year-old Ukrainian southpaw Usyk to be too slick when they meet Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on February 17. Fury will be staking his WBC heavyweight belt against Usyk’s WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine championships.

“It’s going to be a good fight,” Joshua said to Sky Sports News. “I think Usyk edges it. I’m not really bothered. I just want them both to be healthy and leave the ring. It’s a tough game. So that’s all I can ask for, that they leave the ring healthy.

“In terms of how it goes, it doesn’t affect my life, in a way. I’m not like one of those fans that’s starts crying because someone won or lost. It is what it is. Tomorrow comes around. Good luck to both of them.”

“Probably the opportunity to fight Tyson Fury. I think that’s a better fight for the fans and myself.”

This week it was officially announced that former two-time unified heavyweight champion Joshua would return to the ring against former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou 0-1 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 8.

The 38-year-old France-based Cameroonian made his boxing debut last October in a 10-round non-title bout against Fury in Saudi Arabia last October. Not much was expected of Ngannou but he impressed with his boxing ability, dropping Fury with a left hook in the third round and going on to lose a razor-thin split decision.

Joshua will be hoping to go one better by getting the win inside the distance.

“I like to hurt people, definitely,” Joshua said to broadcaster DAZN at the press conference on Monday to announce the fight. “Definitely, I really do. I really do. But if you look at it, every opponent that me and Fury got in common, I’ve knocked them out – every opponent, or I’ve stopped them. Yeah, every opponent.

“So, I just do what I need to do. I’ve never been in competition with him anyway in that sense. But if you are talking in facts and stats, everyone that we’ve fought that’s similar I’ve ended up breaking their face or knocking them out. So we’ll see what happens.”

Joshua will be having his second fight under new trainer Ben Davison, who previously worked with Fury.

“Ben has played a big part in reminding me that my body and my mentality are made for me to go back to seeking knockouts,” Joshua said.

“I’m not going to waste any more time messing about with boxing on the back foot. Nor am I going to wait ten rounds to land the knockout.

“Yes, as people are saying, I do think you’re seeing me back to the old AJ.”

But Ngannou has been studying Joshua too and putting together his own plan to defeat him.

“These are notes I’ve already made about him,” he said. “His style, where he’s dangerous, where he might get caught. By fight night I’ll go into the ring knowing everything about him.

“All I need to know about getting another fucking knock out.”