Ahead of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk’s momentous rematch tonight, live on Sky Sports Box Office, a panel of experts have made their predictions for the big fight.
Usyk’s dynamism and refined skills will be hard to contain so the contest will hinge on whether Joshua, with a new training team, can make adjustments and impose his power-punching style on the brilliant Ukrainian.
After a tense final face-off at Friday’s weigh-in, there is nothing left for them to do but fight.
Wise, who is the combat sports editor for CBS Sports, is an experienced boxing and mixed martial arts analyst who has consistently provided winning selections for SportsLine members. For the past two years, he has hit numerous boxing selections in big-time matchups.
For instance, Wise called for Gervonta Davis to win in Rounds 1-6 (-110) against Rolando Romero for the WBA regular lightweight title in May. Davis scored a sixth-round stoppage to give Wise’s followers another winner, and the under 6.5 rounds (-130) that Wise predicted also connected. Moreover, last November he predicted a stoppage victory between rounds No. 10 and 12 for Canelo Alvarez against Caleb Plant in their super middleweight unification bout. The proposition wager paid +450 and Alvarez stopped Plant in Round 11. Anyone who has followed Wise’s combat sports picks has seen massive returns.
Joshua vs. Usyk preview
The first meeting between Usyk and Joshua was basically the byproduct of a failed meeting between Joshua and WBC champion Tyson Fury that was widely considered the biggest fight available in the heavyweight division. But an arbitrator ruled that Fury had to honor his contractual obligation to give Deontay Wilder a trilogy match, so that fight was booked and Joshua vs. Fury was put on an indefinite hold.
Usyk made that matchup even more unlikely when he stepped in and dominated Joshua over the course of 12 rounds to win the WBO, WBA and IBF versions of the belt. Fury recently announced his retirement following a successful defense against Dillian Whyte in April, but few boxing observers believe the WBC champ is hanging up his gloves for good.
In the meantime, Usyk (19-0) can cement his status as the division’s biggest active star should he sweep his rivalry against Joshua (24-2), a one-time prodigy who is now considered an enigma of sorts.
However, DAZN decided to keep Usyk vs. Joshua 2 as part of its regular pricing plan. How much do you need to spend in order to watch Uysk vs. Joshua 2? The Sporting News has you covered when it comes to the price of the fight on Saturday.
Although Joshua didn’t make sweeping changes following his loss to Usyk, he did switch trainers for the first time in his career and says he believes the move will give him an advantage Saturday.
Joshua parted ways with longtime coach Robert McCracken following the defeat last September in favor of Robert Garcia, who is widely considered one of the top trainers in the sport and has the credentials to back this assertion.
Usyk brought an element of mischief to Wednesday’s press conference at the Shangri La hotel in Jeddah. He made Joshua wait for his arrival, scribbled notes as the other participants spoke and made sure he had the final word.